Trainer David Payne’s decision to put the blinkers back on Florentina paid instant dividends when the filly took out the Group 3 $125,000 Roger Hawke Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) at the Gold Coast today.
Even though Florentina had to overcome throat surgery last year Payne came to the Gold Coast full of confidence with Florentina with two Sydney barrier trial wins under her belt and he knew with the blinkers back on she was ready to run a mighty race.
“She has any amount of natural ability but she has problems with her throat and that restricts what I can do with her.”
“We’ll take her step by step and I am certain she can pick up another black type race up here in Queensland.”
Jockey Glyn Schofield settled the Redoute’s Choice three year old just off the pace and eased her to the outside in the straight to score a comfortable one length win over the Gold Coast trained Punch On who ran a mighty race coming out of barrier fourteen.
Florentina also had good wet track form with a win on a slow and a second on a heavy and she had no trouble getting through the heavy ground once Schofield steered her to the middle of the track in the straight.
“I went into the race with plenty of confidence and she justified that,” Schofield said.
“I was happy where she was and conscious I needed to get off the fence and find the best going wide out in the straight.”
“She’s a very consistent filly and it’s a shame she has a throat problem because she is very talented.”
Today’s win was Florentina’s second from eight starts and Payne will now pick out some suitable three year old races for the filly over the Winter Carnival.
Florentina was well in the betting and started at $6 while the well supported Morning Captain ($4.20) made up some ground in the straight to finish a close fifth, just behind the placegetters.
Favourite Easy Running ($3.50) jumped with the field but was always well back and was the first horse beaten and starting to give ground at the 750m.
The Easy Rocking three year old failed to respond to the hard ridding of Damian Browne and was a spent force on the home turn.
Easy Running was very impressive at his first run back a spell with a last stride win at Eagle Farm but trainer Desleigh Forster will now have to reassess his Winter program.