Trainer Gary Newham’s confidence in Winning Ways’ chances in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet grew with every raindrop on his roof on Friday night.
His conviction was well placed when Winning Ways ($17) charged home to beat Word For Word ($3.30) by a long neck on Saturday.
Newham is best known for his work with quality stayers including the Australian Derby winner Starcraft.
He looks to have another Group standard filly in Winning Ways who is owned by his long-term client Paul Makin who also raced Starcraft.
It was Makin who lured Newham back to training two years ago after the trainer took a decade-long break from racing.
Newham is adamant he can deliver Makin another Group One winner with Winning Ways in the Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben on June 1.
“When it started to rain again I was very happy. I knew we would have a heavy track. Winning Ways loves the wet,” he said.
“But more importantly she can stay and I could see a long way out she was going to be hard to beat today.”
Newham will now set Winning Ways on the traditional path to the Oaks through the The Roses at Doomben on May 18.
His last runner in the Oaks was We Can’t Say That who was unplaced in 2004 but went on to be a top broodmare.
Winning jockey Matt McGillivray said he had been confident at most stages of the race.
“That was lovely. I was able to come into the race from the 600m and she was very strong,” he said.
Word For Word’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy said his filly did a good job after leading from a wide barrier.
Etana ($12) ran third and her jockey Clayton Douglas said she would be even better over more ground.