It may not be an official family night at Tabcorp Melton Park this Saturday, but Matthew Newberry is hopeful it will be his family’s night in the winners’ circle at trots racing HQ.
The Newberry family will have three horses lining up, headed by Tweet About It in the Group 2 Empire Stallions VicBred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final for three-year-old fillies.
The filly – who is trained and will be driven by Matthew’s dad, John – faces a strong field over the 1720m journey, which will be only her third start.
Matthew, who will drive consistent squaregaiter All Hall in the Lets Get The Party Started 13 Oct! VicBred Trot, said Tweet About It looked to be a promising type.
“She’s had only two starts and hasn’t had that many trials, so we don’t really know what the depth of her ability is just yet, but we are very pleased with how she is going,” he said.
“It has been a pretty solid effort to come through from her first start and then sit parked (in the death when coming third) in her heat last week and then go into the final.
“She won first up when she led and I think dad will be looking to do the same thing on Saturday night. If she can run a place or – depending on what pressure she cops – potentially even win the race from there I think he said he will want to give her a week off.”
Matthew said the Home Grown Classic series, in which qualification was limited to early three-year-old horses who had won less than $10,000 at the time of acceptance, was handy for late-starting juveniles.
“In my opinion there is too much money around in two and three-year-old racing, people can end up just pushing their horse and then we don’t have any make it to the Grand Circuit,” he said.
“There are a lot of benefits to having these sorts of races that they can come into without having to be racing really hard.”
The Newberry family – John, Maree, Matthew and Robert – live on a property of about 155ha in Bunbartha, near Shepparton, home to some cattle but mostly standardbreds, including 11 broodmares.
One of those broodmares, Shez Madam Jasper, has produced five winners, including Village Encounter, who will race in Saturday night’s TAB Multiplier VicBred Pace (1720m, M0 to M1).
And, in continuing the family night theme, Shez Madam Jasper is the granddam of Tweet About It.
“She has so far only had one get to the races that hasn’t won, but that is only a four-year-old we have still got in work,” Matthew said.
“And now she’s had one of those winners produce another winner.”
Matthew said he expected Village Encounter and All Hall to acquit themselves well on Saturday night.
“(Village Encounter) had been up for quite a while when she won her last race; now she has had a spell and is like a completely different horse in trackwork and around the stables,” Matthew said.
“And I was absolutely thrilled with (All Hall’s last start) effort at Maryborough, because I know he isn’t really that tough and, for him to get left parked outside a horse like La Grange and to run the times that they did, he stuck on really well.
“If he goes as good as he did there he should finish close enough.”