Every Rose would look pretty good without the white blaze and stockings. With them she takes your breath away.
The powerful chestnut filly has the sweetest of actions which is greatly enhanced by her dazzling markings. She was by no means first out of the gates in Saturday’s Gimcrack Stakes, but reached the lead in a few giant strides.
Josh Parr had her in a lovely rhythm coming around the turn and didn’t ask her to extend until they reached the top of the rise. She showed a turn of foot you’d expect from a shorter actioned horse, putting three lengths on her nearest rivals.
Trainer Mark Newnham had some reservations about the filly leading in the race, simply because she wasn’t accustomed to the role. “She sat behind two leaders before winning her official trial recently and had always followed a mate in trackwork’, Mark explained. “On the day she seemed to know what it was all about and raced generously throughout”.
Newnham says the filly’s raw talent is exceeded only by a faultless disposition. “She’s like a kid’s pony. Not a moment’s trouble”.
Every Rose was a $160,000 purchase for Darby Racing but almost certainly would have brought more had buyers been aware that her year older half brother Academy was showing Mark Newnham some encouraging signs.
“Academy was still a couple of months away at the time, but was moving like a horse with potential”, recalled Mark. “Every Rose made such good money because another half brother Smartedge had won a couple of city races”.
Scott Darby says Every Rose was purchased primarily as a likely candidate for the “all female” Magic Millions concept which is rapidly catching on. “Half A million dollars in bonus prize money is available for the first four horses across the line owned by female syndicates”, says Scott. “You don’t have to win necessarily. They qualify for the bonuses if they run fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh”.
Every Rose has around eighteen female owners, all of whom were mesmerised by the filly’s striking appearance. “The girls wanted to be involved from the moment they saw a promotional photo of the Choisir filly”, said Scott.
Darby Racing have been supportive of Mark Newnham since the inception of his training career just three years ago and currently have six horses under his care.
Apart from Every Rose, Academy and four time winner Black Magnum, Mark has had success with fillies like Greysful Glamour and Celestial Falls in the familiar Darby colours.
This time last year Greysful Glamour won the Flemington Oaks Trial before finishing second in the Kennedy Victoria Oaks. Coincidentally Celestial Falls recently won the same Oaks Trial and is prominent in early markets for the Kennedy Oaks to be run on November 7th.
Scott Darby greatly values his association with the man who was hellbent on becoming a trainer from an early age. “He’s straight up the middle in his appraisal of horses and brutally honest in his assessment of their likely future”, said Scott. “His opinions usually prove to be right on the mark. He’s a pleasure to deal with”.
Mark Newnham made a low key entry into the training ranks when his twenty year association with Gai Waterhouse came to an end in 2016. He kicked off with only three horses at Warwick Farm, but quickly opened his solo account.
He won one race at Wyong and two at Warwick Farm with Anisha, before notching a Randwick win with Godolphin “cast off” Careless.
The horse to lift his profile significantly was Lanciato with whom he won a Listed Carrington Stakes and a Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket.
Other notable early winners for Mark were Anatola (Silk Stocking), Burning Passion (Hall Mark Stakes Gr3), and Diamond Tathagata (Skyline Stakes Gr 2). It’s almost a year to the day since Maid Of Heaven gave him the Group 1 win he’d dreamed about, when she scrambled home to win the Spring Champion Stakes.
In the euphoria of the Group 1 win, nobody suspected that the Smart Missile filly would never again be seen on the racecourse. A recent sesamoid fracture hastened her retirement to Arrowfield Stud where she has already been served by the celebrated Justify - the thirteenth winner of the USA Triple Crown.
When Nakeeta Jane hobbled off the training track noticeably lame one morning in August, Mark must have wondered what he was doing wrong. Just four months after giving the trainer his second Group 1 by winning the Surround Stakes, she too sustained a sesamoid fracture - a bizarre coincidence.
Despite the profound disappointment of losing two outstanding mares, Mark is able to immerse himself in the day to day operation of two metropolitan stables. He has thirty horses in work at Warwick Farm under the supervision of former harness trainer James Ponsonby, while he looks after a thirty five horse team at Randwick.
Stabling accommodation at headquarters is a very rare commodity. “I’ve applied a couple of times without success” said the trainer. “I’d love to have the whole team under one roof, but for now I’ll have to travel back and forth”.
Mark continues to ride trackwork at both venues. “Sometimes I ride two or three a morning, sometimes I’ll do five depending on circumstances”, said the former successful jockey. “Family and friends jokingly insist I only ride the good ones. The truth is I prefer to ride horses who are not racing well, in the hope I might be able to pinpoint a problem”.
Mark’s looking towards Shadow Hero as the horse most likely to present him with another Group 1. Winner of two from five so far, the Pierro gelding has improved as the distances stretch out.
Shadow Hero came off a strong finishing second in the 1500m Dulcify Stakes, with a resounding victory in the Gloaming Stakes (1800m) last Saturday week. He showed a sizzling turn of foot from the turn to the 200m and put them away much earlier than Mark had predicted. “He hadn’t shown that kind of acceleration over shorter distances”, said the trainer. “I thought he would pick them up in the closing stages, but he went so quickly it was all over at the 200m”.
Shadow Hero carries the colours of Asian based owners Sweetbriar Equine who are understandably excited by the prospect of having a strong contender for the Victoria Derby on November 2nd.
But for now he’ll go close to giving his trainer another Spring Champion Stakes success on Saturday.
In the meantime Mark has the daunting task of keeping eighteen fanatical female owners under control as a certain two year old filly sets her sights on the 2020 Magic Millions Classic. “Every Rose will have three weeks in the paddock before we get ready for the Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic in mid-December”, said Mark. “Hopefully it will then be full steam ahead to the Gold Coast and the big bonus prize money”.
Racing has been Mark Newnham’s primary focus since age fifteen when he became a strapper for vastly experienced Randwick trainer Bob Thomsen. Later he became a travelling foreman for Bart Cummings looking after many high profile horses during interstate trips. Next adventure was an overseas stint riding work for Clive Brittain in the UK and Kevin Prendergast in Ireland.
Mark was twenty three years old when he made the decision to become an apprentice jockey. He started with Graeme Begg later transferring to Ron Quinton.
He was twenty seven when he began a long association with Gai Waterhouse which produced 650 winners and three Kembla Grange Jockeys Premierships. Mark was offered a position when the structure of the Waterhouse operation changed dramatically, but elected to make his own way as a commercial trainer.
Somewhere along the line Mark must have spotted the quote attributable to the legendary comedian Milton Berle who said “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door!”
(Banner image courtesy Bradley Photos - banner shot - Every Rose with all four feet off the ground, in the closing stages of the Gimcrack Stakes)