Western Australian trainer Gino Poletti has given the go ahead for Luckygray to be tested during the Melbourne Spring Carnival before returning for a second Railway Stakes during the Summer.
Perth’s favourite racehorse won last year’s Group 1 $1m Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on November 19 on protest from Kiwi He’s Remarkable and will be given a short break before heading to Melbourne for the Spring.
Poletti has selected the Group 2 $220,000 Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 18 in the Eastern states and will give the gray only four runs in Melbourne before returning to Perth.
“We will give Luckygray a short let-up and his next race will be the Lawrence Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield in mid-August. He will have four Melbourne races before returning home to be set for the Railway Stakes again,” Poletti said.
Poletti said he was not concerned by Luckygray’s lack of acceleration at his first run back and jockey Shaun O’Donnell had to ride hard to secure a half length win over Rosie Rocket and Grand Nirvana in the Group 3 $125,000 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) at Belmont on Saturday.
“I went a bit easy on him in preparation for the Hyperion,” Poletti said.
“He’s got a lengthy campaign coming up and I don’t want to be too hard on him at this stage.”
“I must admit to thinking he would win easier today, despite being slightly above his best racing weight.”
“But Grand Nirvana and Rosie Rocket showed their quality in testing Luckygray.”
Luckygray started at the short odds of $1.24 favourite and after some initial concerns for punters early in the straight, the four year old was able to win comfortably in the end under the urgings of O’Donnell.
Three year old Rohan returned to the racetrack in great order to come from behind to score a narrow but decisive win in the WAROA Belmont Guineas (1600m) and jockey Glenn Smith said the colt still had plenty of improvement in him.
“The best has yet to be seen of him,” Smith said.
The Vaughan Sigley trained colt was having his first run since winning the Group 2 $400,000 Schweppes WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot on April 14 and will have one more run before having a short break to prepare for the Perth Summer Carnival.
Sigley will give Rohan his next start in the Group 3 $125,000 Strickland Stakes (2000m) at Belmont on July 7 and at this stage connections haven’t discussed travelling to the Eastern States for the Spring and look likely to concentrate on the major races in the West over the summer.
“He will be aimed at the Ascot summer carnival,” Sigley said.
“At this stage, connections have not discussed entering him in Melbourne spring races.”