Father and son hoping to Reign supreme in Crown showdown

A favourable front line barrier draw has John Newberry upbeat about his chances of combining with son Matt for a special Group 1 success.

Feature racing at Melton
Feature racing at Melton

The father-son trainer-driver duo will prepare the favourite for the Breeders Crown two-year-old trotting fillies' final, with impressive heat winner Nordic Reign to start from gate three in the $100,000 showdown.

"When the draw came out, I was absolutely ecstatic," John, 65, said.

"She will come out at three, the inside two haven't got a lot of gate speed. She should come out without really having to do anything off the gate really."

Nordic Reign managed to lead and win the first heat as a $1.45 favourite at Maryborough on November 15 when she held the David Aiken-trained-and-driven Maoris Mac at bay.

Newberry said he couldn't be happier with his girl's lead-in and preparation for the 2240m contest.

"I'm really happy with her," he said. "She has come through last week really well.

"I'm not overdoing her this week. I gave her some pace work and let her sprint up the last 800m, and she absolutely flew down the straight (on Tuesday) morning."

The Bunbartha trainer said the bright lights of Melton Entertainment Park won't be a factor for the daughter of Volstead.

"She has met most of these horses before and has gone well. I can't really see anything sticking out, there's nothing new to be worried about," he said.

Newberry, who has trained more than 500 winners through a long career in harness racing, was excited to be teaming up with his 29-year-old son for a such a big occasion.

"He is sort of knocking on the door of 100 wins, I think it would be 99 if he wins the final. He doesn't quite get to 100 with the cup," he said.

"It would really top things off, over the years I've won hundreds of races. To give Matthew the opportunity the win something like this, it certainly feels good."

Fellow heat winner Malibuu has drawn on the second row in barrier 11, while Maoris Mac will start widest on the front line when the Group 1 final is run at 10.40pm