Trainer Mark Newnham announced big expectations for his British import Spirit Ridge. The 5 year old (by birth date) gelding won his second black-type event over the weekend, cruising home in the January Cup at Randwick. The trainer’s post race interview gave air to the esteem in which Spirit Ridge is held.
After winning the 2000m (1m2f) Summer Cup in December and the 2000m (1m2f) January Cup in early 2021, Spirit Ridge will take a break for a few weeks with a tilt at the 3200m (2m) Sydney Cup in early April his target.
Newnham praised jockey Robbie Dolan for his ride and Dolan – who got the horse into a one out one back position from the outside barrier – was high in praise of Spirit Ridge. “He loves his racing, he loves a day out, he pricks his ears everywhere you go and that is a good sign . . . He has got a really good turn of foot for a horse that gets over a bit of ground,” Dolan said.
The precise path for Spirit Ridge is obviously not set in stone but if all goes to plan Newnham will be using the 2400m Manion Cup on 20th March as the stepping stone to the Sydney Cup on 10th April. After stating that Spirit Ridge was at his best over the last 150m in the Summer Cup, Newnham said, “The best part of his race was on the line. In the autumn he’ll get up to a 2400m and maybe even the Sydney Cup might be on the agenda.”