Newman celebrates biggest win yet

By Michael Guerin

The whip flourish from Korbyn Newman said it all.

It may have also earned him a warning from the stewards for the 23-year-old horseman’s expression of sheer joy as he and one of his favourite horses Mighty Looee won the $90,000 Hydroflow Country Cups Championship at Addington on Friday.

Newman had every reason to be be excited as not only was it the biggest win of his career but one of the most improbable as Mighty Looee only overcame a 20m handicap but also being last in the 16-horse field to be the last man standing in a brutal 3200m.

His 3:58.9 time would have won plenty of New Zealand Cups and showed his love of the speed being on all the way in his races, only this time it wasn’t Mighty Looee who was forcing the issue but going as fast as he could to keep off.

One by one the rivals in front of him dropped off and in the last 100m he surged past the very brave Wheel Of Fortune and Get Up N Dance, both of who looked the winner at different stages of the last 600m.

“To win this race on him is amazing but to win a big race for Robert and Johnny and Jenna means the world to me,” says Newman.

The race lived up to its build-up, with Artatac leading early but no shortage of challenges at various stages and in the end it was the Nelson Cup winner who has spent so much time racing in open class since who was the toughest.

While the first of the big money pacing races on Friday went to the $73.70 outsider the feature of the night was the complete opposite as hot favourite Don’t Stop Dreaming bolted in but maybe not in the fashion many expected.

Driver Natalie Rasmussen was patient early as Sooner The Better led and driver Scott Phelan showed no interest in handing up, so Don’t Stop Dreaming waited three back on the outer in the $150,000 Garrards Sires’ Stakes Final.

Rasmussen made her move at the 1000m and was outside the leader at the 700m and the little superstar cruised clear of stablemate Sinbad, with Triple G a brave third after being parked for the first half of the race.

The winner rated 1:53.6 for the 1980m to make it nine wins from 10 starts, with Rasmussen suggesting he is a real-deal three-year-old for owners Ian Dobson and the Dunfords.

It was the ninth straight year the All Stars, under different configurations, have won the Sires’ Stakes three-year-old pace.

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