Burning Passion faces an ominous task when he steps up to the elite level among Australia’s leading sprinters in the Group One Doomben 10,000.
Trainer Mark Newnham admits it will be tough for the six-year-old who will take on a stellar field in Saturday’s 1200m-feature which includes Redzel, In Her Time and English among the Group One winners entered.
Newnham was grateful to acquire Burning Passion from Darby Racing when trainer James Cummings joined Godolphin but admitted the last-start winner of the Group Three Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) was up against it on Saturday.
“He deserves a chance at a Group One but he’s found a pretty solid race at weight-for-age to do it in,” he said.
“We’re using this to assess where he’s at as far as his next run goes.”
Providing Burning Passion performs as well as his trainer hopes, the Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 9 is on the agenda.
“If he performs well we’ll look at that because he’s suited at the trip under handicap conditions,” Newnham said.
“If not, there’s plenty of other races up there for him. We’ll drop him back to one of those Group Three or Group Two level races.”
Burning Passion won the Group Three Healy Stakes last year in his final race for Cummings and could attempt to go back-to-back at Doomben on June 23.
Redzel leads the TAB market before acceptances as the $2 favourite ahead of In Her Time at $4.
Le Romain and Impending are next in line at $11 and $13 respectively ahead of English and Houtzen ($15).
Burning Passion is a $26 chance with Newnham hoping forecast rain for Brisbane will eventuate.
“There are showers predicted which will help his cause and probably dampen the speed of some of the others,” he said.
Michael Cahill rode Burning Passion to victory in the Healy Stakes and takes over from regular jockey Josh Parr who has commitments at the Scone Carnival this week after recovering from a foot injury.