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Mark Newnham’s stellar run of late-season success with his two-year-olds has prompted the emerging trainer to make serious spring carnival plans for his young team.

A long-time deputy to Gai Waterhouse, Newnham only took up training in his own right three years ago and has already celebrated Group One wins with Maid Of Heaven in last year’s Spring Champion Stakes and Nakeeta Jane in the Surround Stakes.

His stable has been in rare form and while he did not saddle up a winner at Rosehill on Saturday, recent victories by Shadow Hero, Diamond Thunder and Splintex have him well-placed to make a mark in the spring.

That trio has already been sent to the spelling paddock with Splintex, a son of top sire Snitzel, to be given a sprint campaign in the spring.

“He’ll come back for a spring prep and hopefully he will end up in the Coolmore (Stud Stakes) if he’s good enough,” Newnham said.

“But I think the best of him will be in the autumn.

“He’s still a little immature. He’ll continue to improve and I’m sure this time next year he’ll be a very good horse.”

Shadow Hero followed an impressive stakes win in Brisbane with a fast-finishing fourth to Prince Fawaz in the J J Atkins Plate (1600m), a race that traditionally proves a reliable guide to the spring three-year-old features.

Newnham is keen to give Shadow Hero the chance to show his wares in the better middle-distance and staying races with his primary goal the Victoria Derby.

“He’ll have a little break now and most likely just have four runs in the spring – the Dulcify, the Gloaming, the Spring Champion and the Victoria Derby,” Newnham said.

“He’s a natural stayer.”

Newnham also has ambitious plans for Diamond Thunder, although that horse is likely to bypass the bulk of the spring races to focus on next year’s Magic Millions carnival.

Of his more experienced brigade, Newnham recently welcomed a bulked-up Nakeeta Jane back to the stable with the rising four-year-old to be readied for the Epsom Handicap, a race which will be pivotal to the rest of her spring.

Among the options Newnham will weigh up is a shot at the inaugural $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill on November 2.

“She’ll more than likely have a couple of starts into the Epsom and then we’ll decide what her program is and either go to Melbourne or stay here for the Golden Eagle,” Newnham said.

 
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