Western Australia Newport of call for Perry
Perth Cup contender Newport has arrived safe and well in Western Australia ahead of a two-race campaign.
Trainer Paul Perry said the gelding coped with Friday’s flight from Melbourne to Perth with no problems.
The gelding will run in the $250,000 Group Two Cox Stakes (2100m) on December 19 before tackling the $400,000 Group Two Perth Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Day.
"He arrived safely, he travelled over beautifully," Perry said.
"He’s one of those old horses with a great nature. He doesn’t do anything wrong.
"Hopefully Brad Rawiller will ride him in both races and I think he has to be a big chance in both races."
The winner of the 2008 Group One Metropolitan Handicap at Randwick, Newport has finished 10th in the past two Melbourne Cups, collecting more than $100,000 each time.
He had a few problems in the autumn when he dumped Danny Nikolic at the start of the Ranvet Stakes and subsequently showed a tendency to veer left at the beginning of his races.
Those antics left Perry bewildered as the seven-year-old had never acted up in the past.
"He is such a gentle old horse, I can’t explain it," he said.
"He doesn’t seem to have those problems in Melbourne so hopefully it will be the same in Perth."
Although the Newcastle-based Perry has travelled horses to Melbourne, Adelaide, Hong Kong, New Zealand and most famously, Royal Ascot, Newport will be his first runner in Perth.
The Perry-trained Choisir won two races at Royal Ascot in 2003 to set a new standard for Australian sprinters.
Perry is most famous for his speedsters, notably Group One winners Notoire, Fastnet Rock, Dantelah and Golden Slipper winner Stratum as well as Choisir.
"This is the first time I’ve taken a horse to the west and I think he’s the right horse for the Perth Cup," Perry said.
"The 2400 metres is probably his best distance and I’m looking forward to him racing well."
By Caryl Williamson