Chris Waller’s promising stayer Antonio Giuseppe will strip a much fitter race horse when he steps out in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Waller’s claims Antonio Giuseppe’s fitness, or lack of it, was the reason for his second up defeat as favourite when runner up to Tavago in the Group 3 $350,000 McGrath Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 11.
Antonio Giuseppe looked like he was in for a good Sydney Autumn Carnival with a first up win in the $100,000 James Ruse Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill on February 18 and Waller is hoping he can bounce back to his best as he is tested out at weight for age for the first time.
Waller said that the four year old has come through his last start second in fine order and is now ready to run out a strong 2000m third up with Tye Angland in the saddle again.
“He has come through it well and I just think he wasn’t fit enough,” Waller told RSN’s Racing Pulse.
“In particular in the way the race was run. It was run at a breakneck tempo and how the horse was second up at 2000m after one 1500m run so I think he was calling for the oxygen mask 200m from home.”
“For that reason we think he might struggle in the BMW under the same circumstances with Lasqueti Spirit and there are others there that might roll forward and make it a genuine 2400m and I just think he might be one run short.”
“For that reason we have changed our minds in going for the Ranvet on Saturday where he will be fit and the heavy track won’t be a problem so he is back into calculations but not in the race we thought he would be running in as a Group 1 contender.”
With the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill next Saturday now ruled out of the picture, Waller is considering running Antonio Giuseppe in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 1, day one of ‘The Championships’.
But he added that the Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’ is still on the agenda.
“It sort of brings into calculations the Doncaster or if he wasn’t quite as sharp as we hoped tomorrow maybe the Chairman’s in two weeks time which still keeps the Sydney Cup on the table.”
“We are just in two minds as you can see.”
“He has to run in the Chairman’s to go to the Sydney Cup, I am not worried about the seven day turn around there.”
“The Chairman’s is two weeks after this Saturday and that is still likely, the Doncaster not quite as likely.”
Antonio Giuseppe is set to be Waller’s only runner in the Ranvet Stakes with Preferment to be scratched because of the wet track.
On Friday morning the Rosehill track was rated a heavy 10 after receiving 64.5mm of rain in the last seven days with more showers forecast for Friday and Saturday.
Antonio Giuseppe is marked at $9.50 for the Ranvet Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au while Preferment is currently marked as the outsider of the field at $26.
The John O’Shea trained Hartnell heads the market order at $2 ahead of The United States at $4.80 and Stratum Star also on $9.50.