By Glenn Davis
Queensland Horse Of The Year, Winning Ways, will begin a new campaign aimed at the Magic Millions carnival in January when she lines up in the $150,000 Spring Cup at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Trainer Garry Newham abandoned Caulfield Cup plans for the four-year-old when she could manage only fourth to Looks Like Elvis over 1835 metres at Eagle Farm on September 21.
It came seven days after her first-up performance when she ran last in a field of 11 behind the Tony Gollan-trained El Campeador at Doomben.
Newham had no hesitation scrapping a Melbourne trip after the run and is now eyeing the $1 million Magic Miullions Trophy at the Gold Coast in January.
“There’s always next year for the Caulfield Cup as she’s been behind the eight ball ever since she had a slight bleed in the Oaks and had to have three months off,” Newham said.
“It was also the first time she had backed up last run and it was a pleasing performance.
“I was very happy with her last run and she showed she was looking for further now so the 2225 metres on Saturday is really going to suit her.
“I don’t expect her to be getting as far back over this distance as she has been and she’ll race a lot handier in around third or fourth spot like she did in the Queensland Oaks.”
Winning Ways is not eligible for the Magic Millions and will need a wildcard entry to start in the Magic Millions Trophy.
“I’ll aim her for the Shoot Out Stakes which is over 2200 metres at Eagle Farm in December,” he said.
“The winner of the Shoot Out gets a wildcard entry into the Magic Millions Trophy.
“In the meantime, I’ll just take things race by race with her and I might even back off her a bit before she runs in the Shoot Out.”
Newham said Winning Ways had pulled up well following her recent outing.
“She’s going great and has trained on well since her last run,” he said.
“She’ll be very hard to beat this time as once she gets over 2000 metres and beyond she just rolls along.
Newham was reluctant to name a danger to Winning Ways who has won seven of her 15 starts and earned prizemoney in excess of $484,000.
“I don’t worry about other horses. I just want to make sure everything is right with mine and let others worry about me,” he said.
Racing Queensland webnews October 4