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Image: Steve Hart
Mark Newnham-trained Dragonstone will resume at Kembla Grange

Small in stature but big on ability, sparingly raced three-year-old Dragonstone will resume at Kembla Grange with hopes his campaign could culminate in a Gosford Guineas assault.

The Mark Newnham-trained gelding has been to the races three times for a win and two placings, and he is expected to continue where he left off when he returns in the Canadian Club Handicap (1000m) on Saturday.

“What he lacks in size and maturity he is making up for in ability,” Newnham said.

“He’s come back well. I have only trialled him the once, but I did the same last preparation and he doesn’t take a lot of work to come up.

“He’s quite a promising little horse.”

Dragonstone’s trio of starts have all been on wet winter tracks but his latest trial win came on firm ground and Newnham expects him to cope with whatever conditions are presented at Kembla.

He is a clear-cut $2.60 favourite to make a winning return and if he races to expectations, Newnham has earmarked the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) on December 29 as a likely target.

“That could be a nice little target race for him and if he performs well at his next two starts, he could go into that third-up,” Newnham said.

The trainer is also anticipating a much better run from Marway after tinkering with his training regime.

A runaway winner of the Wagga Town Plate in May, the six-year-old has been below par in three recent runs but after putting in his best piece of trackwork this preparation, Newnham is looking for him to turn things around in The Warra (1000m).

“I’ve changed up a few things with him, freshened him up and got a bit more condition on him,” Newnham said.

“His coat has finally come right. I wasn’t happy with his appearance early in the prep.

“He worked very well last Saturday morning and I’ve left him pretty fresh since then so I’m expecting an improved performance.”

Stablemate Lord Olympus will go around in the same race and Newnham says he will appreciate any cut in the ground.

 
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