Mark Newnham’s plans to run Splintex on Golden Slipper day were scuppered but the speedster can collect a decent consolation prize at Randwick.
Splintex will contest Saturday’s Group Two Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) after proving his fitness with a recent barrier trial fourth to star sprinter Nature Strip.
Newnham originally hoped to get Splintex into last month’s Group One Galaxy but the horse was an emergency and did not make the field.
The trainer went to Plan B, a support race on the Golden Slipper program, but scratched Splintex from that when he became unwell.
“He was just a bit lethargic. His bloods and everything were good. He never had a temperature but he just wasn’t himself,” Newnham said.
“He was a bit flat for a few days, so I freshened him up and he trialled outstandingly well.”
A competitive field will tackle the Arrowfield including proven three-year-olds Flit and Cosmic Force, who are both looking to bounce back from unplaced runs.
Fireball winner Villami is also there, along with Eleven Eleven who resumes from a summer campaign when he was placed three times behind subsequent Group One winner Alligator Blood.
Splintex showed sustained speed to lead throughout over 1100 metres at Rosehill last start but Newnham says the horse is just as comfortable taking a sit.
“He has won doing both. He is a nice versatile little horse,” Newnham said.
“From barrier one you can afford to be a bit positive and then work out what to do.
“He’s yet to be proven at this trip but he’s only had the one go and he ran a close-up third in a Listed race, the Gosford Guineas.”
Formerly the Royal Sovereign Stakes, the Arrowfield was renamed seven years ago and has been won by some handy horses, most recently the Les Bridge-trained sprinter Classique Legend.