Trainer Paul Richards is confident that Natuzzi can bounce back from his lackluster performance in the Victoria Handicap when he makes his Australian Group 1 debut in the 2014 The Goodwood at Morphettville on Saturday.
Natuzzi performed consistently at the highest level of racing during his summer campaign in New Zealand and made his Australian racing debut with a narrow win in the Pink Ribbon Cup (1200m) at Caulfield on April 12, but could finish no better than seventh in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) and was beaten by more than seven lengths by The Goodwood rival Sistine Demon.
The Coats Choice gelding is available at the lucrative The Goodwood odds of $41 on the back on his performance in the Victoria Handicap, but Richards told The New Zealand Racing Desk that he believes the effort was better than it looked on paper.
“His last run wasn’t that bad when you analyse it,” Richards said.
“He had cover for a wee bit but then he got parked three-wide without cover and over raced.
“The winner (Sistine Demon) won very easily but he was only a length and a half from the second horse even though he only ran seventh.
“I thought his run was alright.”
Natuzzi’s task in the The Goodwood was made very difficult when he drew barrier 22 at the barrier draw for the Group 1 event that will be held in Adelaide on Saturday.
Richards that the outside barrier draw is not ideal, but he remains hopeful that regular jockey Chris Johnson can get the five-year-old in a nice position early in the race before giving him the opportunity to show his impressive acceleration in the final stages of the race.
“I was reading in the paper this morning that of the last 18 runnings of The Goodwood, only five won from double figure barrier draws, but he’s in so he has got a chance,” Richards said.
“The day he won at Caulfield, he drew the outside but he ended up getting the perfect position, so with a bit of luck in running who knows.
“There will be plenty of pace so he should be able to slot in somewhere and get some cover and hopefully have the last crack at them.”
Natuzzi remains one of the outsiders in 2014 The Goodwood betting markets; with Driefontein ($7) remaining a narrow favourite from Miracles Of Life ($7.50), Platelet ($8), Sistine Demon ($9) and Essay Raider ($9).