Trainer Jason Coyle has revealed that a tilt at the Group 1 sprints during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival is on the agenda for talented colt Va Pensiero.
Va Pensiero has only had one race start this preparation, after missing the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 8 due to a virus, and could be given a chance at Group 1 level in the BTC Cup (1200m), Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at the end of his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign.
Coyle told Racing Ahead this morning that Va Pensiero would likely have his next race start in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) on April 6 before returning to Sydney for the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick during The Championships.
“We will press on now to the Gosford Guineas and maybe a Royal Sovereign,” Coyle said.
“That would only be his third run this prep, so I might be looking at something like a BTC Cup back at that weight-for-age conditions in Queensland and then possibly onto the Stradbroke and Doomben 10,000 up there.
“They are all viable options if he can hold his form.”
Va Pensiero made his return to racing in the Group 3 McCarten Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22 and battled home strongly to finish second behind Kencella – who will back-up in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Coyle said that he was happy with the effort of his star galloper and believes that the son of Stratum may have the edge over Kencella at a different track and distance.
“It was a really solid return,” Coyle said.
“It was obviously disappointing going down to Melbourne and having to scratch on raceday, but we did the right thing by him and he returned in good order.
“Kencella looks like the 1100 metres at Rosehill is his forte and at another track it may have been a different story.
“He had a good blow after it and he recovered well.”
The BTC Cup (1200m) will return to Doomben on May 10, after the 2013 edition of the race was moved to Eagle Farm to accommodate for equine superstar Black Caviar, with the Doomben 10,000 (1350m) to be held a fortnight later before the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) headlines the Brisbane Winter Carnival on June 7.