Trio chasing more Group success

 Dal Cielo (Opie Bosson) racing away with the Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie. (Photo: Wally O'Hearn).

Dal Cielo (Opie Bosson) racing away with the Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie. (Photo: Wally O’Hearn).

A potent New Zealand combination will again be chasing Group prizes on both sides of the Tasman this weekend.

Prominent Wellington owner Lib Petagna has enjoyed a successful association with Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and the partnership is hoping to build on its record in Sydney tomorrow while also keeping a local eye on the Taranaki meeting.

The trio tasted Group One success with the now retired Atlante in the 2013 NZ 2000 Guineas before his first Australian outing resulted in a runner-up finish in the Gr. 2 Hobartville Stakes, a race they will be hoping to go one better in at Rosehill with last season’s Gr. 1 Diamond Stakes winner Dal Cielo.

“His work has been very good and he has travelled over well,” said Petagna’s racing manager Bruce Perry. “It’s a tough field, but when you’re racing for $400,000 in Australia you expect that. We’ve got some unfinished business in the race so we’ve got our fingers crossed.

“We’ll leave it up to Murray, but as long as he runs well then the logical step would be to go to the Randwick Guineas. The horse ran a pretty good mile in the Sandown Guineas in November.”

Dal Cielo’s run for second in that Group Two event has since provided further cause for optimism as the winner Mahuta has been unbeaten in two subsequent starts, including the Gr. 2 Autumn Stakes at Caulfield.

Dal Cielo will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, who will also ride the stable star Mongolian Khan in tomorrow week’s Gr. 1 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick. It is a one off booking with regular rider Opie Bosson opting to partner Turn Me Loose in the Gr. 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on the same day.

Meanwhile at New Plymouth, the Petagna-bred and owned Saracino will make his debut in the Gr. 3 Phoenix Park 2YO Classic off the back of a trial win for Baker and Forsman at Matamata earlier this month.

“That will be interesting and hopefully he goes well. He looks quite promising,” said Perry.

– NZ Racing Desk.