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Willinga Rufio goes back-to-back

3 minute read

The Mark Newnham-prepared Willinga Rufio has made it two wins in a row to start the career.

WILLINGA RUFIO winning the The Agency (Bm72) at Rosehill in Australia.
WILLINGA RUFIO winning the The Agency (Bm72) at Rosehill in Australia. Picture: Steve Hart

He put the writing on the wall with a strong Hawkesbury win on debut and the Mark Newnham-trained Willinga Rufio ($5.50) has gone on with the job with a dominant display at Rosehill Gardens over 1800m. 

After being allowed to cruise over to the front in the early stages by apprentice Tyler Schiller, the three-year-old dictated terms from there on in to win by a comfortable two and three quarter lengths on the line over African Daisy ($4.60) with Kopangi ($8.50) a head back in third. The remainder of the field were a further six lengths away. 

Newnham, who is regarded as the master of apprentices in the Sydney training ranks, was complimentary of the steer by Schiller and believes his Dundeel gelding could go onto bigger and brighter things as he matures.

"Really dominant win, I thought Tyler rode him and rated him really well in front," Newnham said. 

 "What was really good to see was how strong he was even from the furlong home, so quite a promising horse. 

"It was nice that he got into a good rhythm and I've said to him (Schiller) one area he's needed to improve is being in front, and he did that really well today. 

"Horse and jockey, big tick for both."

Schiller, who was in the irons for the Hawkesbury maiden victory, explained that Willinga Rufio has taken the next steps following that win but still has a bit of improvement to go. 

"He had to do a little bit of work early, a bit more than Hawkesbury and up in grade today," Schiller said. 

"We were confident he would run the trip very strongly and he showed his class the last bit. 

"I thought it was a soft maiden win (at Hawkesbury), there wasn't much in the field, but today he showed that he can go up in trip and up against a bit stronger competition and he was very strong late." 

As to what's next for the unbeaten gelding, Newnham was happy to wait and see what the future holds. 

"He's done a little bit more each preparation, I'm pleased we've got some nice patient owners," Newnham said. 

"It'll just be a matter of whether we run him once more or give him a little break and look at something a bit better in the spring." 

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