Sydney-based gelding Fontelina is set to do all his racing in Melbourne during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
The son of Testa Rossa finished fifth in a barrier trial over 900 metres at Rosehill Gardens this morning and did enough to suggest to trainer Anthony Cummings that he is ready for a return in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 7.
“He seems to have come up well and he races best in Melbourne,” Cummings told TVN after the trial.
Fontelina is yet to run a place in eight attempts at Group 1 level, with a fifth place finish in the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) earlier this year his best result, but Cummings is hopeful that he can successfully make the step up in class this preparation with the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 29 firmly on his agenda.
After the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes the plan is to keep Fontelina in Melbourne and attempt to defend his title in the Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes (formally known as the Salinger Stakes) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
Fontelina failed to make an impact at the highest level of racing during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival, finishing seventh in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m), seventh in the Canterbury Stakes (1300m), fifth in the George Ryder Stakes and thirteenth in the Doncaster Handicap (1600m), but broke through with an impressive victory at Listed level in the Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Scone.
The five-year-old gelding is aiming to join Planet Ruler (1989 and 1990) and River Rough (1983 and 1984) as the only back-to-back winners of the Yellowglen Stakes.