A dramatic San Domenico Stakes has been won by Va Pensiero at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse today.
The three-year-old was quick to cash in on the late scratching of race favourite Whittington at the gates.
Whittington was vetted and passed unfit to run in the San Domenico Stakes after rearing up in the barriers and casting his front legs on the stalls.
This left the field wide open for Va Pensiero to strike, scoring a win in his first-up start of the spring racing carnival.
Va Pensiero has now won two of his six race starts and has earned more than $133,000 in prize money during his career.
The Stratum colt was given a long winter spell following his 11th placing in the Group 1 Golden Slipper in April.
Va Pensiero won today’s San Domenico Stakes by almost a length in front of Cluster, who placed second, and Windjammer, who finished in third position.
Trainer Jason Coyle witnessed Va Pensiero’s San Domenico Stakes victory.
“A couple of times (in the past) he’s been a bit unlucky,” said Coyle.
“Today it all fell into place. He was strong to the line.
“He’s shown today he’s come back good.
“I genuinely think he’ll get 1,400 (metres).
“Hopefully in a few weeks we’ll be in a few of the bigger races.
“Spring’s here and hopefully we’re coming.”
Tim Clark was the jockey who partnered Va Pensiero in today’s winning run.
“(We’re) coming into a very exciting time of the year,” Clark said.
“It’s nice to be in the winner’s stall in a big race.”
Clark admitted that his race tactics changed after Whittington was scratched at the gates.
“It probably changed the game plan a little bit with Whittington coming out,” he said.
“We weren’t going to be overly positive.
“But I thought it was probably my chance to give him a bit of a squeeze out the gates and it paid off.
“It was a good solid win.
“He’s got a good bit of improvement left.”