Lady Rossa rewards Forsman’s judgement

Lady Rossa (Matt Cameron) pushing her case for a big-race mission with a decisive win at Tauranga today.

Lady Rossa (Matt Cameron) pushing her case for a big-race mission with a decisive win at Tauranga today.

Cambridge trainer Andrew Forsman got an added bonus from the win of Lady Rossa at Tauranga today.

Not only does Forsman train Lady Rossa in partnership with Murray Baker, he also selected, bought and co-races the daughter of Bernadini.

“I bought her at the sales in Aussie for $40,000 and got together a syndicate to race her,” said Forsman. “Most of the other owners in the group are first-time owners to our stable so it’s a good result. I didn’t know them before we got into the filly together.”

Graeme Wilshier owns 50 per cent of Lady Rossa, while Forsman shares the other half interest with Kieran Corby, Robert Gibson and David Mitchell.

Lady Rossa is the fourth winner of the Testa Rossa mare Contessa Rossa, who won two races in Australia over 1000 and 1200 metres and is from the same family as the Gr.1 SAJC Goodwood Handicap winner Mighty Avenger and Valedictum, whose 12 wins in Australia and Dubai included the Gr.1 VRC Emirates Stakes.

With such sprint blood, Lady Rossa is expected to shine early over the sprint distances and she showed immediate talent, winning her first two trials. In the first of those trials, at Ruakaka, the third horse home was Hasahalo, a last-start winner of the Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie and the joint favourite for the Karaka Million.

On the strength of her two trials wins, Lady Rossa was taken to Riccarton where she made her debut in the Listed Barneswood Farm Welcome Stakes, but the plan didn’t provide the outcome her connections hoped and she finished fifth of nine.

“It was a disaster really,” said Forsman. “She drew out and it rained and she couldn’t cop the track.”

Freshened after the southern trip, Lady Rossa finished second to the very promising stablemate I Got You at the Cambridge trials earlier this month. Blinkers were added for the first time today and they helped her show her real potential.

“She’s been a very timid filly, but she’s getting better,” said Forsman. “Putting blinkers on for the first time you’re not sure how they’d go. She usually flies the gate but she was a bit slower away today but then soon got up there.”

Ridden by Matt Cameron, Lady Rossa was soon up tracking the leader Amazing Banker in the Fresh Market Gate Pa Shopping Centre 2YO and ranged up approaching the home turn. She put the pressure on the leader on straightening and drew ahead inside the last 100 metres to win by two and a half lengths.

With that confidence-building run under her belt, Lady Rossa could now shoot for some black-type in the Gr.3 $70,000 Phoenix Park 2YO Classic at New Plymouth on February 18 or the Gr.2 $100,000 J. Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders’ Stakes a week later.

“It would be good to get black-type with her — that’s what we’re after,” said Forsman.

Being a filly who can jump and be on the pace, she looks an ideal prospect for either of the juvenile features.