Kiwi raider Saracino has led from start to finish to take out the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) down the famous Flemington straight this afternoon.
Saracino was making his Australian racing debut in the 2016 Danehill Stakes and was immediately led to the fore of the field by jockey Damien Oliver after jumping from the gates well.
Setting only a fair tempo for the classy field of twelve, Oliver allowed plenty of time before pressing the button on the son of Per Incanto; the horse responding with a strong turn of foot to pull clear with 200m to run and maintain to the line, beating a fast-finishing Archives.
Oliver delivered a typically smart ride aboard Saracino to win the Danehill Stakes and believes the horse will only improve from the effort.
“I’ve been on his back a couple of times in a trial and gallop, and he’s shown plenty of potential,” Oliver said.
“The penny hasn’t quite dropped with him yet so it was a good effort for him to win first time down the straight.
“There’s not a big wind factor here today in the races, I think it will be more tempo-related as to where you’re sitting. I think that it was important he was able to sit up on the pace, face the breeze and stick on strong.”
Trainer Murray Baker was pleased that the horse way able to perform in his first start in Australia, and revealed that the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) is likely to figure as the next point of call for Saracino.
“I thought it was a very brave effort,” Baker said.
“He was in front a long way out and we were probably going to try and ride him off the pace a bit today to try to get him over the junction but he was in front and he kept kicking up the straight.
“You’d like to think he could make the Caulfield Guineas but who knows, he might not be a miler, he might just be a straight sprinter.
“He always showed plenty as a two-year-old but always pulled up when he got to the front. Today he had his mind on the job.
“I think the 1400m lead-in to the Caulfield Guineas (will be next).”
The 2016 Caulfield Guineas Prelude is slated to run at Caulfield in a fortnight, September 24th.