Stable pleased with trials performers

Saracino (Lisa Allpress) beating Farm Boy at the Te Teko trials today. (Photo: Trish Dunell).

Saracino (Lisa Allpress) beating Farm Boy (grey) at the Te Teko trials today. (Photo: Trish Dunell).

Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman’s spring hopes gained momentum at the Te Teko trials today.

The Cambridge trainers stepped out a number of Group One contenders with the Australian-bound Saracino impressing in his 1000-metre open heat win and an effort mirrored by the quality filly Luna Rossa.

The former placed in two of his three two-year-old appearances and gave a game front-running account of himself when third behind stablemate Luna Rossa in the Gr. 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.

“He holds nominations in Melbourne and races like the Caulfield Guineas roll around quite quickly,” said Forsman.

”He’ll probably go over at the end of the month and we have given consideration to a run in the Foxbridge Plate first or the other options are at Hawke’s Bay or Ruakaka.

“He is right up there ability-wise and he is a lot more switched on now than he was as a two-year-old.”

Eleonora, who finished in the money in all three of her juvenile starts including a second placing in the Listed Champagne Stakes, also has the Melbourne spring carnival on her programme.

“She’s quite under-rated and the VRC Oaks would be the ultimate aim,” said Forsman.

Luna Rossa, who beat fellow Group One winner and NZ 2000 Guineas prospect Heroic Valour in her three-year-old heat, will lead the stable’s bid for spring classic honours at home although she does also hold nominations for Melbourne.

“I was very happy with her and surprised that she jumped and put herself on the pace,” said Forsman. “She pricked her ears and kicked hard.

“The 1000 Guineas would be the goal for her and we could kick her off in the Gold Trail Stakes. She’s quite sharp and over 1200 metres on top of the ground she would be competitive in a race like that.”

– NZ Racing Desk.