Summer Cup a launchpad for Skymax

Mark Newnham expects Skymax to find some of his Summer Cup rivals too sharp, but he views the race as an important stepping stone towards a defence of the horse’s Australia Day Cup title.

The six-year-old returns to the races for the first time since finishing midfield over 2800 metres at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.

He is yet to win over less than 2400 metres since joining Newnham’s team from England 12 months ago and the trainer does not expect that to change this weekend.

“I’d imagine this will be too short for him,” Newnham said of Sunday’s 2000 metre race.

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

After showing staying promise at his initial campaign, Skymax had a mixed spring.

He was solid in the Colin Stephen Quality when sixth to Entente but was well beaten in his two subsequent starts in the City Tattersall’s Club Cup and at Flemington.

Newnham has also made some changes to Skymax’s training regime in the hope it will ignite him back into form over the summer.

“He has done a bit of jumping. I’ve just got to keep his mind active,” Newnham said.

“It’s something new for him. He seemed to be getting a bit bored with his usual routine, so I have added a bit of jumping to see if it sparks his interest a little bit.”

The Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) is the feature race on the Boxing Day program and has attracted a competitive field, headed by Criaderas and Stockman who finished third and fourth respectively at their final lead-up runs in the Villiers Stakes.

About RS NewsWire

Racing and Sports is a global publisher of online horse racing form and information, and a leader in interactive racing technology. Racing and Sports is at the cutting-edge of information technology, allowing businesses and website users first access to emerging technologies.

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