Mixed luck for leading stable

Luna Rossa (Lisa Allpress) getting up to beat Sicario in the Gr. 1 Courtesy Ford Sires Produce Stakes.

Luna Rossa , pictured winning the Gr. 1 Courtesy Ford Sires Produce Stakes last season, was unlucky not to make a successful Australian debut yesterday.

Top Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman added to their good record yesterday, but were unlucky not to enjoy better luck.

Bonniegirl and Saint Emilion picked up wins at New Plymouth and Mongolianlightning finished third in the Gr.3 Manuka Doctor Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie, while across the Tasman the stable had to settle for two unlucky placings with Luna Rossa and Saracino in their black-type engagements.

Luna Rossa, who is racing in Australia as La Luna Rossa, finished second to Legless Veuve in the Gr. 2 Tranquil Star Stakes and could have tested the winner if she had got a clear run.

Settled midfield by rider Damien Oliver, the Written Tycoon filly was held up in the run home and ran on strongly when finally balanced up in the clear.

It was the second run this campaign for the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes winner and followed a second to Its Time For Magic in the Listed O’Leary Stakes at Wanganui.

(La) Luna Rossa’s effort has pushed a case for a start in the Gr.1 A$500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 8.

A race later the stable attention was on Saracino, who was chasing a hat trick of wins after taking the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa and the Gr.2 Danehill Stakes in her Australian debut.

Again with Oliver aboard, Saracino settled three back on the inner and was held up early in the run home. He then raced in cramped quarters over the final stages and finished solidly to wind up a length from the winner, fellow Cambridge galloper Sacred Elixir, in fifth spot.

The Caulfield Guineas Prelude was a test for Saracino to see if he could be stretched to the 1600 metres of the Gr.1 A$1 million Caulfield Guineas in a fortnight and on the strength of yesterday’s performance he deserves a crack at the Caulfield feature.