Australia Day Races at Warwick Farm
Australia Day Races at Warwick Farm

Star galloper lines up in feature race at Wagga

Rockhampton star galloper Marway takes his talent to Wagga in southern New South Wales on Thursday where with the feather weight of 54kg he contests the $200K Wagga Town Plate (1200m).

Raced by Rockhampton’s Sturgiss family and the Wagners from Springsure, Marway has won three races in Sydney since being transferred to Mark Newnham at Randwick.

He has the benefit of a significant weight drop from his last start dashing front-running display to win under 60kg over 1250m at Randwick’s Kensington track on Anzac Day.

Newnham told Racing New South Wales correspondents that the weight factor was very significant in giving Marway a fighting chance to win a feature $200K race.

“He (Marway) has good natural speed and overdid it a bit last start when fresh and a tearaway leader,” Newnham said.

“He is climbing up in the ratings a bit, but this is a good opportunity for him in a $200,000 race against strong opposition.”

That opposition includes the likes of Handle The Truth, a winner of $1.3 million opposed to the $302,725 won by 11-time winner Marway.

Marway will be ridden at Wagga by Newnham’s apprentice Tom Sherry who leads the Sydney apprentice’s premiership and he is no stranger to Marway.

“Tom is just back from a broken collarbone and recently won his first Group race on Miraville for me at Kembla Grange,” Newnham said.

“He has ridden Marway in trackwork and knows him which is important. I expect Marway to lead or be right there on the speed.”

In early betting markets, Marway was listed as $4.60 favourite for the time-honoured Wagga Plate and he will leave barrier 11 in a 16-horse field.

On the local scene, racing takes place this Saturday in Rockhampton at Callaghan Park with a strong seven-race TAB card.

One of the many features will be the return to racing after a short respite by last year’s Rockhampton Cup (1600m) winner Absolut Artie.

Absolut Artie will carry topweight of 63kg but, even so, the grey is the class horse of the 12 entries for the Open (1400m) with his BM rating of 87.5kg.

The closest in the ratings to Absolut Artie is the Mary Hassam Bundaberg-trained bonny mare Daunting Queen with a BM 81 rating which collates to 57kg on Saturday.

Saturday’s meeting will also feature the Clinton Taylor-trained recent brilliant Yeppoon debut winner Magnetic Drive which contests the $27K QTIS 2YO Handicap (1100m).

Magnetic Drive has looked very bright on the Callaghan Park training tracks since the win a fortnight back and looks destined for a bright future.

Meanwhile, it was announced this week that Neville Stewart’s Oaklands Stud, Toowoomba, has acquired the Lonhro stallion Exosphere.

At the recent Capricornia Yearling Sale in Rockhampton, Oaklands sold two of the Exosphere progeny for $36K and $15K.

Just last Saturday, Exosphere produced the GR 3 winner of the Hawkesbury Guineas in Exoboom.

“The timing certainly couldn’t be better for having acquired Exosphere,’ Stewart said.

“With his stallion career virtually just kicking off, Oaklands is delighted to have acquired him.

“I have always been a fan of the horse and to be honest just love him.”

Exosphere will stand at what truly looks a bargain service fee for his first coming season at Oaklands at just $4950 (inc GST).