Raghu beaten, Lanciato impresses

Lanciato winning impressively at Te Rapa for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh.

Lanciato winning impressively at Te Rapa for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh.

One Cambridge trainer was celebrating victory, while another horseman from the centre was left to make a crucial decision after Lanciato raced away to an impressive win at Te Rapa today.

Raghu, the NZ Derby third placegetter, was all the rage to win the Clubhouse Café & Sports Bar Cambridge Premier, but had to settle for fifth placing as another Cambridge galloper, Lanciato, charged clear to win by a length and three-quarters for trainer Stephen Marsh.

Raghu, a prospect for the Queensland Derby, is booked to be flown to Brisbane on Sunday with some of his stablemates and the initial reaction from trainer Tony Pike is to press ahead with the plans.

“I’ll go home and think it over tonight, but I’d say he’ll still probably go,” said Pike. “They walked and sprinted home and that didn’t suit him. He’s a stayer and he really needs to be out and rolling.”

Rider Michael McNab worked Raghu through the inside to be vying for the lead in the early stages then settled him third behind Evoke and Vanilla Moon.

He angled Raghu off the fence rounding the home turn and punters were expecting him to stride clear, but it soon became obvious he was in trouble.

“He came back to me and completely switched off in the race,” said McNab. “But even when he came out he didn’t quicken.”

While Raghu was struggling to muster the sprint to be in the money, Lanciato, in the hands of Leith Innes, had swept down the outside of the track to take the lead with 200 metres to run. He then raced away to score by easily from Our Abbadean, who just shaded the game Evoke.

Lanciato began his career with Matamata trainer Lance Noble and was switched to Marsh’s quarters with a record of a win and two placings from five starts when Noble took up his position as private trainer for Brendon and Jo Lindsay.

The Per Incanto gelding made his debut from Marsh’s stable when third at Te Aroha on a soft track and was much more suited by the good footing on this occasion.

Leith Innes climbed aboard Lanciato for the first time and was most impressed with his performance.

“He got there too soon. He did it easily,” said Innes. “He’s a nice horse with a future.”