A daughter of Samar has provided Craig Newitt with his biggest win of the season and the leading jockey is hoping another member of the family can play her part in another highlight.
Craig Newitt and Samaready, picture Quentin Lang, quentinjlang.com
Newitt, who is chasing his maiden Victorian Metropolitan Jockeys' Premiership, will partner Night War in the $100,000 Sir John Monash Stakes at Caulfield this Saturday.
The former Western Australian is a half-sister to star filly Samaready, who Newitt guided to victory in the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes in February.
Night War, who is by General Nediym, has joined Mick Price at Caulfield, which is also where Samaready is trained, and Newitt is looking forward to strengthening his association with the family.
“She's very tiny, she's one of the smallest three-year-olds we've got, but her form's impeccable,” Newitt said of the winner of five of her nine starts.
“She's got a stack of ability, she's earnt nearly $600,000 in prizemoney, so the form's there to stack up.”
More than half of Night War's earnings came via the $500,000 Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m), which she won in March last year. She has scored further Black Type success this season, winning the $125,000 Group 3 Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic (1400m) at Ascot in December.
Night War has had two starts in 2012, for a first-up third and a strong win over Flag Officer and Thousand Guineas Prelude winner Bliss Street in February.
She faces a daunting first-up assignment, getting just 2.5kg off Group 1 winners Green Birdie and Eagle Falls in the Monash, but she has drawn to utilise her speed from gate six.
“She's not very well handicapped at weight-for-age, but she's very quick and has drawn a good gate,” Newitt said. “She trialled really good here (Caulfield) on Tuesday morning and I'm sure she'll run a really good race.”
Night War shares the $8 third line with Eagle Falls and Wangoom Handicap winner Second Effort in TAB Sportsbet's Sir John Monash Stakes market. Favourite, at $5, is Peter Moody-trained filly Le Societe with another three-year-old, Zamorar, at $7.
Night War is one of Saturday's key rides for Newitt, who is locked together with Luke Nolen on 65 city winners for the season.
Among Newitt's other rides are talented Stratum filly Second Madam and the Leon Corstens-trained Show Up, who are $5 second favourites for Races 2 and 5 respectively, while he partners the fancied Dash For Viz in the final event.
Nolen has a full book on the eight-race card, including Le Societe in the main event and the only odds-on favourite for the day, the Moody-trained Genuine Spin in Race 3.