Sydney trainer Mark Newnham is looking to make an early statement at Melbourne’s Festival of Racing alongside some of Hong Kong’s former gallopers.
One is already well known in Melbourne, having won during the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington while the other is Melbourne bound after a recent trial win.
Joyful Fortune moves up to the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on 18 February, after which Newnham will decide whether the sprinter returns to Melbourne for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in March.
At this stage, Newnham is favored to run Joyful Fortune in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on 18 March.
“He tested during the week and tested quite well and will have another test in a couple of weeks before that comes down,” Newnham said.
“I’ll probably back home for Galaxy as I’m not sure of his ability to run strong over 1200m but he really enjoys the straight so we’ll work that out after the first run.”
Joyful Fortune is unbeaten in two straight track runs at Flemington, winning over 1100m on heavy ground in September, her first run in 12 months after being shipped from Hong Kong, while in spring she won the Listed Century Stakes (1000m) 3 November.
On her only other Australian appearance, Joyful Fortune finished second to Giga Kick in The Everest (1200 metres) at Randwick in October.
Like Joyful Fortune, stablemate Sunshine Rising was sent to Australia after suffering tendon problems in Hong Kong.
Sunshine Rising is being targeted towards the Group 3 TS Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Sandown on 11 February, which starts twice in Sydney after last racing in Hong Kong in January 2021.
After finishing fourth on debut in the Group 3 Festival Stakes at Rosehill, Sunshine Rising finished 12th in the Group 2 Ingham Stakes at Randwick last month.
“He was a useful horse in Hong Kong. He ran at Group 1 level there, won at Group 2 level and had a tendon injury and had to take almost two years off,” Newnham said.
“He made two runs here, ran quite well, but I am looking for a suitable race, and he gets along very well at Carlyon because of the weight and setting penalties.
“It’s a race that we hope will win him back.”
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