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  4. Newnham rolls the dice with Lord Olympus

Newnham rolls the dice with Lord Olympus

By Glenn Davis

Sydney’s Mark Newnham has rolled the dice and will start Lord Olympus in the trainer’s bid for a fourth Listed race win in Queensland via the Mick Dittman Plate at Doomben on Saturday.

Newnham is a four-time Group 1 winning trainer but is yet to win a Group race in Queensland.

He has won three Listed races with Anatola in the Silk Stocking at the Gold Coast in 2018 as well as a Listed race double with Shadow Hero in the Phoenix Stakes and Diamond Thunder in the Oxlade Stakes on the same day at Doomben in 2019.

Newnham decided against running Lord Olympus in last week’s Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint at Randwick in preference for a trip north for the Mick Dittman Plate.

However, Newnham’s hopes of another Stakes win suffered a blow when Lord Olympus drew barrier 11 in the 1110-metre feature.

“I’m disappointed with the barrier as it’s very hard to win at Doomben with double figure draws,” he said.

“He was entered for a race in Brisbane two weeks which Joe Pride’s horse Ballistic Lover won but I had to scratch him after he hurt himself.”

I’m disappointed with the barrier as it’s very hard to win at Doomben with double figure draws

Mark Newnham


Newham has no major plans with Lord Olympus, who has started eight times for four wins and two placings.

The three-year-old son of Olympic Glory pleased Newnham with his last start fifth behind Queenslander Isotope in the Listed Darby Munro at Rosehill last month.

“His last run behind Isotope was very good and he’s had a barrier trial since at Warwick arm which he easily won,” Newnham said.

“He’s a solid horse and I decided to aim for the Mick Dittman instead of the Arrowfield last week as I just thought the Arrowfield was a bit strong for him.

“There’s not many suitable races around for him but he has won up to 1250 metres.

“I think races around this distance is perfect for him.”

While Newham has never won at the highest level in Queensland, he is hopeful that will end with talented filly Bargain who is being aimed for the Group 1 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm in June.

Bargain is likely to have her first start north of the border in the Group 2 The Roses over 2000 metres at Doomben on May 22.

Bargain finished second in the Group 2 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick on April 10 which booked her place in the Group 1 ATC Oaks over 2400 metres a week later.

The daughter of Ocean Park then put in a brave performance to finished third behind the Chris Waller-trained Hungry Heart in the ATC Oaks.