Reflecting on his momentous achievement, Newnham expressed, "I'm just pleased to get one on the board. I thought it would be last Sunday, but those two will have to wait. I'm really excited."
He added, "I only got back from the Sydney two-year-old sale (Inglis 2023 Ready2Race Sale) this afternoon, rushed home, got changed, and came straight here, so it was worth the effort. To come to Hong Kong to train is something I've wanted to do for a long time, and to get the first one (winner) is very exciting."
Happy Hero's journey to victory was not without challenges. The horse had gone unplaced in 10 previous starts, but Newnham, who rode the sire Pierro during the Australian champion's trackwork and trials, saw potential in the gelding.
He noted, "He's shown good improvement each week he's been with me. When he drew badly (barrier nine), it dampened my confidence a bit. I just thought he'd be a good place chance, but he surprised me with how well he finished."
Mark Newnham's win with Happy Hero marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in his training career in the vibrant world of Hong Kong horse racing.">