Mark Newnham is hoping to get a deeper insight into the carnival credentials of progressive pair Splintex and Academy when they contest separate races at Randwick.
The speedy Splintex, who boasts a victory over subsequent Group One winner Exceedance, tackles the Bushfire Appeal Race Day 25th January Handicap (1000m) on Saturday after finishing third to Hightail in the Gosford Guineas (1200m).
It is a form reference Newnham expects will stand up.
“He probably found the 1200 at Gosford a touch beyond him, especially being a high pressure race, but I think the form out of that will be very strong,” Newnham said.
“Discharged came out of the race and won last Saturday, he finished fourth in the race.
“He’s a good, fast horse and he’s improving all the time. This is a good race for him dropping back to 1000 and I think he’s got a good future.”
Splintex is unbeaten over Saturday’s distance and has the gate speed to negate his wide draw.
Newnham believes the colt is six months away from being the complete package but he is keen to test the waters during the Sydney autumn carnival.
“I will try to get him into a couple of the better three-year-old sprints in the autumn,” he said.
Newnham is also looking to the future with three-year-old Academy who steps out in Saturday’s TAB Venue Mode Handicap (1600m) after resuming with a midfield result at Randwick on Boxing Day.
A son of Shamus Award, Academy won his first two starts and was spelled after he over-raced on a heavy track in the Group Three Ming Dynasty Quality.
Newnham has taken blinkers off him this campaign to help him settle but remains wary he might need the run on Saturday.
“We rode him conservatively first-up and he ran home well. He probably needed it and he may just need another run before he gets to his top,” Newnham said.
“If he ran well enough we may give him a little let-up and go late autumn into the Brisbane winter.”
Newnham will be keeping a keen eye on his Randwick runners from the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast, where he will be trackside to watch Every Rose in the Classic and Diamond Thunder in the Guineas.