Mark Newnham’s association with prominent breeder and owner George Altomonte enters a new dimension at Rosehill when Anatola steps out for his stable.
When Newnham opted to take out his training licence in early 2016, Altomonte pledged to eventually send horses his way.
Newnham previously rode for Altomonte and their relationship continued during his tenure as assistant trainer to Gai Waterhouse at Tulloch Lodge.
“I’ve ridden winners for him and I was with Gai when Overreach won the (2013) Golden Slipper for George,” Newnham said.
“He promised me a couple of horses when I started training 18 months ago.”
Anatola won three races in 12 starts for Melbourne trainers Peter Moody and Mick Price and she is first-up in Saturday’s Blacktown Workers Handicap (1100m), a benchmark race for fillies and mares.
Altomonte has also provided Newnham with a pair of unraced two-year-olds.
Newnham appreciates the support as Altomonte joins his band of owners.
“I’ve known a lot of my owners through my time in racing as a jockey or as assistant to Gai,” Newnham said.
“It’s nice to have horses for people that you’ve known for a long time and enjoyed success with in the past.”
Newnham trialled Anatola at Randwick over 745m on October 17 and was encouraged by her first hit-out since she had bone chips removed from her off-fore knee.
“She’s fit and well. She might just be found wanting the last little bit being first-up with only one trial but she’s ready enough to go to the races,” Newnham said.
“She’s probably no different to what her form suggests. She’s good on-pace and genuine,” Newnham said.
“She’s taken a sit, she’s led, she makes her own luck generally.”
Anatola drew barrier 10 in the 11-strong field and Newnham said he had simple instructions for jockey Josh Parr.
“Generally Rosehill, 1100, you can’t be covering much ground. I’ll be asking Josh to take the most economical path he can from out there,” Newnham said.
Anatola, who started her racing career with Peter Moody in January 2016, has never raced higher than benchmark level and Newnham said he did not have any plans to step her up in class.
“We’ll keep her in this type of company, this is where she’s rated and 1100-1200 are the distances that are going to suit her.”