You could be forgiven for thinking that a little bit of Europe had come to Goulburn on Tuesday with gallopers carrying names such as Where’s Fraunhofer and Napoli going around. Despite their culturally different names, the gallopers have a bit in common.
Both are trained by Tash Burleigh and both step out on their home track at Goulburn on Tuesday seeking their first career win. Where’s Fraunhofer is one of those rare racehorses ... debuting at the sprightly age of six!
Part of the gelding’s name, Fraunhofer, was applied to another horse the original owners thought to be this one, hence, the clever name Where’s Fraunhofer once the mix-up had been discovered.
The question of Where’s Fraunhofer was quickly answered anyway for those who saw him in his only trial to date, the gelding delivering a professional hit out to be first across the line over 800m.
Burleigh doesn’t mind the intrigue behind the name but won’t be putting too great an expectation on him at his debut run despite his trial win.
“I’m under the understanding the horse had a couple of niggly issues as a youngster and that has seen him mature with light training here and there," Ms Burleigh said.
“He did what we asked of him in his trial and have taken his preparation slowly as he was in fairly good nick when he arrived, he is still a tad green, and we can’t be fooled by his age thinking he will go around like a seasoned six-year-old."
Burleigh wants the horse to learn as much as he can from his debut outing: “Obviously being his first start it will still all be educational for him. He will be ridden accordingly, let him begin and keep him balanced. Make it a nice experience.”
Burleigh’s other charge at Goulburn is the Snitzel gelding Napoli. He has impressed in three starts to date and has a back story as well, albeit less smoke and mirrors than his stablemate: “The horse is like Peter Pan. He is a youngster at heart. He is slowly putting it all together and really just needs racing. He can really gallop when he wants to."
Originally purchased as a colt, Burleigh was of the opinion that he would probably do his best work as a gelding: “He proved to be more of a hassle as a colt and was put back on the market. I purchased him, had him gelded and syndicated him out.”
Napoli has recorded improved results at each of his three runs to date. He attracted plenty of attention from punters first-up at Kembla Grange where he was heavily backed as favourite in a small field. Despite not breaking through on that occasion his trainer remains buoyant that his day in the sun is almost here.
“I was happy with the result from last start. The pace was a tad slow and he was reluctant to settle. He had to do a bit of work to get around them and in turn it took the sprint out of him late.”
Burleigh says that like most horses, Napoli is a work in progress: “Maturity and more racing will be the making of him. When he learns to work more with the rider in his races he should be a nice horse over more ground.”
The 3YO meets a bigger field this time out and has drawn a wide gate but Burleigh isn’t overly concerned. “Naturally the wide draw isn’t favourable. But it should suit him. He is usually a little slow away, hopefully, he can come out and race with a little bit of cover and find the line strong.”
His trainer says a solid home track result would be a good line in the sand for her on where he is at: “I’m looking forward to seeing him run on his home track, I think it will help with his education. He’s obviously familiar with the surroundings and knows where the line is.”
Even though the cold has arrived on the tablelands in recent weeks the Burleigh stable is red hot. From its last seven starters, the stable has notched two wins, two runner-up results and three thirds. Goulburn’s seven-race card on Tuesday kicks off at 12.25pm.