The well-backed Sabatini delivered for punters with a professional victory in the 2015 Angus Armanasco Stakes at Caulfield this afternoon.
Sabatini was available at Angus Armanasco Stakes odds of as long as $6 earlier in the week, but there was a great deal of late support for the Street Cry filly and she started the race as a clear favourite.
Jockey Nick Hall opted to settle Sabatini just behind the leading trio of Fontein Ruby, Boundary and Samartested before the three-year-old showed a good turn-of-foot when she found clear running to score a strong win.
Hall’s 2015 Melbourne Festival Of Racing appeared in tatters when he suffered nasty leg injury at trackwork a fortnight ago, but the injury was not as severe as first thought and he was thrilled to be able to bounce back from surgery and return to riding winners this weekend.
“She has come back fantastic and it is very easy to give the gun ride to an intelligent horse like this that maneuvers her way through the field and lets down so good,” Hall said.
“It is an important time of year and we are athletes that get ourselves up for this type of thing.”
Sabatini returned to the races with a good win in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 14 and co-trainer Shannon Hope was happy to see the three-year-old record back-to-back wins for the second time in her racing career with her Angus Armanasco Stakes.
Hope said that he is happy to keep raising the bar with Sabatini and he revealed that the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 14, the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on the same day and the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) in Adelaide are all options for the talented filly.
“Every time we raise the bar she seems to keep stepping up and I feel that there is probably more improvement in her,” Hope said.
“She is very easy to train and we have great staff that do a lot of work with her.
“She has had a bit of luck late in drawing good barriers and Nick rode her a treat and never panicked.
“We will just weigh up our options and decide whether we go to the Kewney, freshen for the Sangster or maybe even go to the Coolmore. “
The Hope stable are chasing a maiden win at the highest level of racing after finishing third with Sabatini in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) last year.