Talented sprinter Dal Cielo has stamped himself as one to watch during the forthcoming Autumn Carnival, after returning to competition for a dominant win in the Summer Sprint (1000m) at Warwick Farm over the weekend.
A Group 1 winner in his native New Zealand, Dal Cielo was transferred to the care of Kris Lees at the conclusion of a disappointing Autumn Carnival campaign in 2016, and made his debut for the Newcastle-based trainer at Muswellbrook in November, when finishing a close second in the Horsepower Skellatar Sprint (1000m).
Jumping from the gates well in the Summer Sprint on Saturday, jockey Glyn Schofield led the Per Incanto gelding forward and took a handy position close to the pace.
The veteran hoop was greeted with a big turn of foot when he asked Dal Cielo for an extra effort in the final straight and the horse was clearly a cut above his rivals; charging clear to find the line more than two lengths ahead of second-placed Hurrara.
Schofield was thrilled with the feel that Dal Cielo offered up on Saturday and is confident that the sky is the limit for the four-year-old this time in.
“Effortless in the end,” Schofield said after the race.
“He jumped cleanly today and put himself right on the speed. I had a lot of horse underneath me a long way from home so it was just a matter of pointing him in the right direction.
“I was confident enough to have a good look around a couple of times because I wanted to make sure he was well clear before I eased him down and made him comfortable.
“This horse needs a bit of confidence which is what he’ll get out today.”
Stable foreman for Lees, Cameron Swan echoed Schofield’s sentiments regarding Dal Cielo’s Summer Sprint win but said that the team is yet to decide on his next point of call.
“He went terrific and I was very happy to see him begin like he did because he’s been the kick a little bit at home,” stable foreman Cameron Swan said.
“Previously he used to get himself really wound-up in the enclosure and he did at Muswellbrook the other day.
“Today he was really good all day at the races. He’s a quality horse.”
Dal Cielo has secured three wins and five minors through his fourteen competitive starts to date.