Mark Newnham can map out a Brisbane campaign for Burning Passion after he completed a double for the Randwick trainer on his home track.
The six-year-old gelding prevailed in a three-way dogfight for the Group Three Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) to earn a trip north for the first time since he was under the care of James Cummings.
Newnham acquired Burning Passion from Cummings after he won the Group Three Healy Stakes at Doomben last June, and he took an opportune moment to record his first victory for the former jockey.
“I’m thankful to the Darby boys for handing him over the me,” Newnham said.
“He’s been very consistent over the last 12 months and let’s hope he goes with it when he gets to Brisbane.
“How high we aim, we’ll wait and see. He showed today he handles all conditions so whatever we get up there, heavy, slow or fast, he can go enormous.”
Burning Passion ($5) scored by a half neck from Oxford Poet ($10) while $3.40 favourite Dothraki lost impetus late to settle for third a long neck further back.
Newnham was rapt after Burning Passion had a luckless run with Josh Parr before finishing seventh in the Group Three Star Kingdom Stakes at Rosehill on March 31.
“Three back the fence at Rosehill is not an ideal spot though no fault of Josh’s. That’s just what you get from barrier one sometimes,” he said.
Parr, who rode Brisbane-bound Anatola to victory in the APN Outdoor Handicap (1200m) a race earlier, was relieved to make amends as he recorded his 14th winner from 36 starts for Newnham.
“I dare say it (Rosehill) was a hard one for the owners to take because he didn’t come off the bit and looked like he would have been in the finish,” he said.
“I assured them I’d make it up to them.”
Parr was always confident after jumping from gate eight of nine.
“Even though he missed the kick I still pressed the button to sit outside the leader because I was so confident out of trouble that he was going to fight the finish out,” he said.