The Lindsay Park trained Grande Rosso will be given his chance in Group 1 company following his narrow win in the Listed $120,000 John Dillon Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Thursday.
The Group 1 $500,000 C.F. Orr Stakes on February 11 and the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes on February 25 are both run over 1400m at Caulfield, the same course and distance as the John Dillion Stakes.
Grande Rosso ($3.10 favourite) sat just behind the leader Master Reset in the run and jockey Regan Bayliss was able to record his first Stakes win as a senior rider when he was able to get the Written Tycoon five year old home by the narrowest of margins from the Darren Weir trained Tonopah ($8.50).
Co-trainer Tom Dabernig said the Team was willing to let Grande Rosso take on Group 1 company in the C.F. Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes as many of the horses that run in those races are usually warming up for contests over a longer journey later in the Autumn Carnival.
“Normally, you’d probably say maybe not [he’s a Group 1 horse], but if a lot of horses are first- or second-up and on the way [back] … he’s hard and fit, so we’ll give it a go I think,” Dabernig said.
“The timing’s perfect.
“He’s probably better with a space between runs.
“We backed him up at Flemington and he went no good.
“Today was a relatively quick back-up, but he did carry a couple of extra kilos so it was equal or a bit tougher today [and he handled it].”
Grande Rosso has been a consistent performer over the Summer months and after working his way up through the classes went on to win the $100,000 VOBIS Gold Bullion (1400m) at Pakenham on December 3.
The Five year old then ran second to Lucky Liberty in the Listed $120,000 Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on December 26 before returning to the winner’s stall when he beat Zupacharged in the Listed $120,000 Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on January 14 prior to his John Dillon Stakes victory.
Grande Rosso has now won seven times from twenty-five starts with prizemoney earnings of $390,210.