Fresh from upsetting the all-conquering ‘cerise and white’ army of owner-breeder Bob Peters and co-trainers Grant and Alana Williams, comeback back jockey Lee Newman is prepared to do it for second time in a feature event at Belmont on Saturday.
Newman and the Darren McAuliffe-trained Gatting caused a major boil over last weekend when they upset raging favourite Galaxy Star in the Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) and exacted revenge after two previous placings behind the top mare.
Galaxy, the 2017 WA Derby (2400m) hero who is on a path towards the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in the spring, ran second to Galaxy Star in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m) last year.
Armed with confidence after scoring his first major victory since returning from a long injury layoff, Newman is looking to knock over the Peters and Williams’ team again when he hops aboard quality gelding The Velvet King in the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m).
The Velvet King stamped his authority with Ascot carnival wins last year in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) and Listed Lee Steere Stakes (1400m), but will face hot opposition and an acid test from a trio of up and comers from the Peters and Williams set up.
Western Pride, an Animal Kingdom filly, is unbeaten from her three starts, True Attraction stormed home to defeat Flower Of War over 1400m last-start and Mystery Miss was doing her best work late when third to Mrs Brown’s Boys in a 1600m handicap.
The Velvet King, a son of Universal Ruler, scored an all the way victory two starts back and faded to fourth, beaten five lengths, after being involved in a speed battle up front with Great Again on a rain affected track on June 8.
Newman said he was keen to take on the Peters and Williams combination in the Belmont Guineas.
“I don’t see why not,” Newman said on Tabradio.
“We’ve proven ourselves already.
“The horses are all going well and we have good ammunition.
“I wouldn’t be worried about anyone else.
“I think they have to worry about us.
“Darren has his horses very well prepared and we always come with a good plan.”