The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
An improved Saracino is set for a step up in distance off his Danehill Stakes win down the Flemington straight according to co-trainer Murray Baker who is keen to get him to the races for this weekend’s 2016 Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
The visiting Kiwi galloper debuted down under a fortnight ago and made an immediate impact with his win over Archives (2nd) and Samara Dancer (3rd) in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m).
That was the Per Incanto colt’s second Group 2 win on the trot after he broke his maiden status at Te Rapa back home in mid-August in the Foxbridge Plate (1200m) defeating the Stephen Marsh-trained No More Tears by over two lengths.
This weekend Saracino has his second run down under lining up at Caulfield Racecourse on Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day in the $175,000 Group 3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
He is drawn a treat in barrier three with gun Victorian jockey Damien Oliver staying aboard after he rode Saracino to victory in the Danehill.
The up-and-comer has been out over the Caulfield Guineas Prelude distance once before when beaten under a length running third to stablemate La Luna Rossa in the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce (1400m) in April on a Heavy (10) track.
Baker, who prepares the horse at Cambridge in partnership with Andrew Forsman, is confident the extra metres will work in his colt’s favour again this weekend with Saracino chasing his third win on the trot.
The trainer was back in Melbourne on Friday morning to watch a galloper at Flemington from Saracino, who he believes is firing on all cylinders.
“We think it will suit him better, he just got knocked off on the line at 1400m last time,” Baker told Racing Victoria.
“I haven’t seen him for a couple of weeks and he certainly looks to have improved.”
Current Caulfield Guineas Prelude betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have the John O’Shea-trained Danehill Stakes runner-up Archives as the firming $4.60 favourite (in from $6.50).
Saracino meanwhile is at $5, equal with one time top fancy Evacuation ($5) who has won both career starts leading up to his maiden Black-Type test this weekend.
As for the all-in 2016 Caulfield Guineas markets for the mile feature on October 8, Saracino is at $13 with Divine Prophet the $4.60 favourite.
The Team Hawkes-trained Divine Prophet heads towards the Group 1 via a Sydney run this weekend taking on just five rivals at Rosehill Gardens in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m).
La Luna Rossa also races in Melbourne this weekend for Baker, the Group 1 winning Written Tycoon filly lining-up in the $200,000 Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m).
She looks to be the forgotten filly in the Thousand Guineas Prelude odds paying $14 to win her Australian race debut despite her strong form back home.
“She will be suited to the 1400m, she is inclined to get back a wee bit and runs home nicely,” Baker said.
“She had a run at the start of September beaten a nose, that is nearly a month ago and I think she has improved a lot since then.
“The bookies here aren’t giving her much of a chance but I think she can be highly competitive.”
Get behind Baker’s Saturday runners at Caulfield online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
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