Horse Racing

Summer Cup is the launch pad for Skymax this summer

Image: Steve Hart

Skymax Import will begin its march towards consecutive Australia Cup Day victories

Mark Newnham hopes Skymax will find some of his Summer Cup opponents too sharp, but he sees the race as an important stepping stone to the dark horse’s defense of the Australia Day Cup title.

The six-year-old returns to races for the first time since finishing the more than 2800-meter average at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.

He is yet to win the under-2400 meters since joining Newnham from England 12 months ago and the coach does not expect that to change this weekend.

“I think this is going to be too short for him,” Newnham said of Sunday’s 2000 metres.

“His two wins in Australia have spanned more than a mile and a half, both at Warwick Farm, and this will lead him into Australia Day Cup which he won last year. ”

After showing promise in its first campaign, Skymax had a mixed spring.

He was solid in Colin Stephen Quality placing sixth against Entente but was beaten well in the next two games in City Tattersall’s Club Cup and at Flemington.

Newnham has also made some changes to Skymax’s training regimen in the hopes it will help him get back into form over the summer.

“He danced a little bit. I just had to keep his mind active,” Newnham said.

“It was something new for him. He seemed bored with his usual routine, so I added a little dancing to see if it piqued his interest a bit. ”

The Summer 3 Cup (2000m) was the feature race on Gift Day and drew a field of competition, led by Criaderas and Stockman, who finished third and fourth at the final lead runs in Villiers Stakes, respectively.

*For existing customers only. 2nd Racing Bet. Except SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Responsible gambling.

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