Rondinella at peak for Tancred

Rondinella is spot on for her biggest test in tomorrow’s Gr.1 Tancred Stakes in Sydney.

Smart Cambridge mare Rondinella is in “faultless condition” ahead of tomorrow’s Gr.1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill.

 That’s the opinion of co-trainer Roger James, who has accompanied Rondinella to Sydney and is rapt with the way she has travelled to Australia and settled in at her Randwick stabling.

A last-start third placegetter in the Gr.1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie behind Melody Belle and Danzdanzdance, Rondinella gained a start in the Tancred Stakes from the ballot after Auvray was withdrawn on Wednesday.

James had accepted with the Ocean Park four-year-old for the Gr.3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m), but it was always his intention to tackle the Group One feature if she made the field.

“I’m comfortable she’ll get the mile and a half (2400m),’’ James said. ‘’It’s a big step up, but I’ve always held her in high regard and she’s had a lovely preparation. She’s in faultless condition.”

TAB bookmakers have Rondinella as a $14 fourth favourite behind last Saturday’s Gr.1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) winner Avilius at $1.60.

In the Ranvet, Avilius beat home third-placed Danzdanzdance, who finished second ahead of Rondinella in the New Zealand Stakes after the James and Robert Wellwood-trained mare lost crucial ground in a home-turn skirmish.

“It’s fair to say we didn’t get the rub of the green last start,’’ James said. ‘’She featured twice in the stipes report and by the time she got clear in the straight the other two were already off and gone. But to her credit, she’s stuck to her task well and ran the quickest last 200m of the race.”

James said rider Sam Clipperton will likely tuck back from barrier 10 in the Tancred Stakes and he regards the track conditions as the biggest obstacle for Rondinella.

“If there was one thing I could change, it would be the weather,” James said.

– NZ Racing Desk