Immortal Love, ridden by Craig Newitt (Image: Racing Photos/Natasha Morello)
Craig Newitt and Mick Price have combined to win hundreds of races but their latest success at Flemington on Saturday may prove significant.
Newitt guided Immortal Love ($4.20) to his second win from as many starts in the $100,000 Tom Melbourne Trophy (1400m) for two-year-olds.
Immortal Love raced outside the leader Heeza Commander ($31) before moving clear from the pack early in the straight and maintaining his advantage for a 3.5-length win from Khoekhoe ($2.50 favourite).
Newitt has ridden 13 winners across Victoria, Immortal Love his lone city winner, since relocating from Tasmania at the start of this month with racing suspended in his home state due to COVID-19.
“It’s good to see him back,” Price said, who last combined with Newitt for a Melbourne win when Extreme Choice triumphed in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley in September 2016.
“He was there this morning at 5am. He rode one after another for a couple of hours. He’s going to all the meetings and riding well.
“I did say don’t be in front at the top of the straight, not sure if he heard that or not - that’s him.
“He’s an aggressive rider and gets the best out of them. It suits my horses, I guess,” he added.
Newitt was also aboard Immortal Love when succeeding at Echuca over 1100 metres on debut and the 35-year-old jockey believes the gelded son of Snitzel has a bright future.
“He gave me a really good feeling at his first start that he would measure up in town,” Newitt said.
“It was a good effort to go from 1100 to 1400 metres straight away. He had that race won a long way out. He loves the wet.”
Immortal Love is a homebred for Peter Creighton who raced Listed-winning mare Loveyamadly who also won her first two starts for Price.
“The best thing he did, Peter, was to geld it even though it had a good pedigree,” Price said. “One thing about him (Peter), if you ask him to do something he does it which is why he is here today.”
Last month's VOBIS Showdown (1200m) winner Khoekhoe will be spelled with Matt Cumani saying post-race: “It was a good run, he was a bit far back but the winner (Immortal Love) handled the conditions best. I thought he would go well in the heavy ground but it took away his speed. I think he’ll be a better three-year-old."