Belmont Oaks winner Rantorini will be sent to the paddock win or lose after running in Saturday’s Listed $80,000 Belmont Classic (2200m) at Belmont.
Perth trainer Phil Humann has targeted the Ascot Summer Carnival for the rising four year old and will give the filly a six week break before preparing her for several Listed mares races during the summer.
“She goes well at Ascot, she’ll have about six weeks spell after Saturday and she’ll come back for them in December,” Humann said.
“She’s pretty promising, a beautiful filly and her temperament is good too.”
Humann was most impressed with Rantorini’s win in the Listed $80,000 Belmont Oaks (2000m) at Belmont on July 7 after racing three wide for the entire trip and Shaun O’Donnell will be able to secure a better run from barrier two on Saturday.
“She raced three wide in the Oaks and she was always travelling well,” Humann said.
“Over 2200m she’ll probably race pretty handy to them and I’m confident she will run very well.”
Top Perth trainer Fred Kersley’s Operational has been nominated by Humann as the hardest to beat after the three year old has continued to improve as he climbed up through the classes.
Operational, one of three runners Kersley will saddle up in the Classic took out the $50,000 Dayana Plate (2000m) on the same day Rantorini won the Oaks and ran a considerable faster time for the 2000m.
“Operational is probably the only danger to her I think,” Humann said.
“I’ve played the tape back a couple of times, he had a cushy run and he did go about three seconds quicker but they marched along in that and he didn’t have to do any work.”
“In the Guineas we beat him home easily but he may have been short of a run.”
It took three runs this time in for Rantorini to start to show her best and when Humann added the blinkers to the filly she ran a much improved race in finishing fourth to Rohan in the Listed $80,000 Waroa Belmont Guineas (1600m) with Operational one and a half lengths behind her in tenth spot.
Humann is looking forward to Rantorini keeping the flag flying for the fillies and becoming the third in a row to take out the Classic after Miss Tipsy Topsy won last year and Peach Tree the year before.
Kersley said he couldn’t see where the pace of the race was going to come from with noted front runner Flag Officer not in the field and Rantorini and his other stable runner Confianza would be the main dangers.
“I don’t see what is going to make the pace on Saturday,” Kersley said.
“Rantorini is the class filly and I thought Confianza (2nd) was a good run in the Dayana.”
Early markets indicate that the Classic is a two horse race with Rantorini the $2.25 favourite just ahead of Operational at $2.60 with the Paul Roberts trained Shoot For Glory next in the betting at $11.