Solo Flyer wins Newcastle Newmarket
Anthony Cummings completed a great training feat by winning the Newmarket Handicap at Newcastle on Wednesday with Solo Flyer and virtually assuring the entire of a Doncaster start.
Solo Flyer, ridden by Corey Brown, ran a race and course record to win at only his second start back from a long spell.
While Cummings and the four-year-old’s owners were celebrating, Gai Waterhouse was looking for answers for the failure of the odds-on favourite Ashikaga ridden by Blake Shinn.
Waterhouse said she was not ruling out the Doncaster for the horse but said he would have to redeem himself if she was to continue with the plan.
"Once the dust has settled I will find another race for him and see where we go from there," Waterhouse said.
"He is a funny horse to train.
"One minute you think you are training a champion and then he turns in a run like that.
"We know even less now than before we got here."
Cummings said Solo Flyer would start in the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper day as his final lead-up to the $2 million Doncaster (1600m) at Randwick on April 18.
"I think he has enough prizemoney now to qualify for the Doncaster," Cummings said.
"It is very satisfying to win the Newmarket with this horse.
"He has always shown us a touch of class.
"The horse had to have chips taken off both knees after the Derby last year then spent a long time recuperating.
"Apart from his knees he has been free of any other injuries.
"We decided to target the Newmarket some time ago with the horse.
"It is a great race for promising young horses coming through from restricted class to be aimed at the better races in Sydney during the autumn."
Solo Flyer resumed from a 45-week spell with a win in restricted company at Randwick on March 7 with Jamie Quinnell in the saddle.
Brown today settled Solo Flyer in sixth place on the rails then hit the lead halfway down the straight.
Solo Flyer then settled down to a duel with the Melbourne-trained Chasm, ridden by Jason Benbow.
Solo Flyer got the upper hand in the last 50 metres to beat that horse by half a length with the Wyong-trained Walking Or Dancing flying home from last to run third.
By Grahame Timbrell