Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Connections of progressive Stratum colt Va Pensiero plan to target the traditional lead-up races this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival heading into the Golden Slipper 2013 after the youngster’s smart first-up win at Warwick Farm over the weekend.
Va Pensiero debuted last October at Randwick when finishing dead last behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained Golden Slipper fancy Whittington in the Listed NSW Thoroughbred Breeders Plate (1000m).
Having failed to make an impression they were sent to the paddock to mature and after a four month break returned on Saturday in the Australian Turf Club Handicap.
It was a much improved effort too with Christian Reith guiding them to an upset victory when defeating the race favourite All The Talk by a quarter length displaying a scintillating late burst of acceleration.
Local Warwick Farm horseman Jason Coyle will now continue with an autumn campaign with Va Pensiero who is being aimed at the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 6.
“I liked him in the Breeders and it was a disappointing result,” Coyle said after Saturday’s win.
“I was confident again today but the 1000 metres was always the query.
“We’ll get him home and see how he is over the next two or three weeks.
“He’s entered for the Slipper and we’ll probably follow a traditional path to get him there.”
Having ridden them for both of their starts so far Reith is confident Va Pensiero is an up-and-comer and that the Golden Slipper is more than just a pipe dream for the two-year-old.
“He has strengthened up a lot since his spell,” he said.
“He’s a really nice little horse. I really like him and I think he can measure up.”
Futures Golden Slipper betting is currently led by undefeated Not A Single Doubt filly Villa Verde ($7) who is a dual stakes winner from the spring.
Va Pensiero meanwhile is still only rated as a $51 outsider in the betting.
Gary Portelli’s fellow Stratum colt All The Talk is also paying $51 in the current Golden Slipper odds with connections still planning on targeting the world’s richest juveniles’ race despite their first-up defeat.
“They (he and the winner) beat the others by a long way,” he said.
“It was hard for him from that barrier (8 of 8).”
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