By Anthony Manton
The Black Book will identify race performances around Australia particularly worth following in the future. These may be high profile runners at trials and smaller tracks, or eye-catching performances, we'll aim to give you a horse to add to your pedigree or performance black book for the future.
The Black Book is about identifying future winners and this morning at Randwick trials Taking Charge (Charge Forward), trained by Mark Newnham trialled like a horse ready to win on debut.
3-year-old gelding Taking Charge has taken plenty of time, education and patient connections to get to this point but it appears Newnham has improved his racing manners and resolved greenness from earlier preparations.
“He’s been a very immature horse, he’s gone shin sore three or four times and mentally he just hasn’t been ready”, said Newnham.
“He’s been a very immature horse, he’s gone shin sore three or four times and mentally he just hasn’t been ready.” - Mark Newnham, trainer
In his previous trialsTaking Charge would hang out, race greenly and overdo his action. It has taken Newnham over 12 months, four preparations and five barrier trials to get to him ready to race.
“He was probably feeling his shin soreness when doing things wrong in earlier trials and those are signs that he was mentally not ready either”.
In his first trial this preparation on November 27 at Randwick, Taking Charge showed he had perhaps turned the corner from his earlier issues, as he was able to show good speed and race tractably with fitness telling late. On Monday he lead throughout and won the heat easily in good time.
“He just needed that first trial and fitness told late but this morning I was wrapped with him, he’s done enough work and he’s ready to go to the races now” said Newnham.
Newnham has a knack for placing his horses well early in their careers, often heading to provincial or country tracks for education and gain confidence before stepping up in grade. Taking Charge fits the profile of a horse Newnham can take to those tighter turning tracks.
“l like taking horses to the provincial or country tracks, it’s good for their confidence rather than giving them a tough city run first-up”.
“l like taking horses to the provincial or country tracks, it’s good for their confidence rather than giving them a tough city run first-up”. - Mark Newnham, trainer
“He’s a good quick horse and a track like Gosford or Wyong will suit him perfectly where we can utilise his good speed and the shorter straights” said Newnham.
Taking Charge was purchased by Newnham at the 2017 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearlings Sale for $60,000, Newnham’s first sale as a trainer in his own right after leaving Gai Waterhouse. He left with two horses, Taking Charge and Quackerjack (Not A Single Doubt), both under similar ownership.
“I had just gone out on my own and I went to that sale to buy a couple of forward types that would be early runners to get me going. Quackerjack came to hand very quickly and we had a bit of luck with him early but this fellow has taken much longer.
“I had some really good support when I first went out on my own and loyal clients with the bulk of them in both horses,” said Newnham.
Quackerjack won his first two starts at Kembla Grange and Randwick late last year before contesting the $2,000,000 2 year-old Magic Millions classic in January of this year, finishing unplaced.
Taking Charge is the third foal from unraced Singspeil mare Siraiki which makes him a half-brother to Citizen’s Arrest (Time Thief) trained by Jason Coyle, an effective short course mare on the provincial and country circuit.
Newnham indicated Taking Charge will have his first start at Gosford on either December 28 or 31 and be kept to 1000 or 1100 metres initially.