Talented Fabrizio has been set for a first-up tilt at tomorrow’s Lander Toyota Ladies Day Cup (1400m), bidding to maintain an unbeaten Hawkesbury record. And he has race specialist Josh Parr, fresh from a Melbourne Cup day double at Royal Randwick yesterday, aboard to boost his chances.
Whilst co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s main focus tomorrow is the $1m Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington with Pierro filly Pinot, stable spokesman Neil Paine has revealed that Fabrizio has been especially set for the Hawkesbury feature.
“Fabrizio is a proven first-up performer and Gai and Adrian have given him four trials to ready him for this race,” Paine said last night.
“They decided a month or so ago to prepare him for the Ladies Day Cup.
“Fabrizio won his latest trial and is fit and ready to go.”
Fabrizio has been to Hawkesbury twice and is yet to have his colours lowered.
He won a 1250m barrier trial there on April 24, and five days later returned to capture the $200,000 Group 3 Livamol Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).
Fabrizio has won twice and been placed once from four first-up assignments and also has won two of his four 1400m races.
Parr not only is in good form, but has won two of the last three runnings of the Ladies Day Cup, for which prizemoney has been lifted from $125,000 to $150,000. He won on Tromso and Strawberry Boy (both for leading trainer Chris Waller) in 2013 and 2014. The 2015 meeting was washed out, and he finished unplaced on Centre Pivot last year.
Parr has so far ridden High Chaparral six-year-old Fabrizio only once – for a Benchmark 93 Handicap (1600m) victory at Randwick in October last year, after which the gelding scored over 1800m at Listed level at the Melbourne Cup carnival at Flemington.
He also has partnered him in a number of barrier trials, including his first ever trial at Randwick in May 2015 and at three of his four trials this campaign; the latest when a convincing winner over 1200m at Randwick on October 31.
Fabrizio has a wonderful record of eight wins from 15 starts, and his co-trainers have decided to resume him tomorrow without a tongue control bit.
There are a number of other important gear changes for the feature Hawkesbury sprint.
Topweight Red Excitement (Rory Hutchings) races in a lugging bit instead of a Norton bit, and Japonisme (Tye Angland) and Shazee Lee (Shaun Guymer) both have blinkers.
Like Fabrizio, local mare Shazee Lee is returning to the scene of her greatest triumph as trainer Scott Singleton tries to lift her back into winning form. Shazee Lee (Jay Ford) at $51 upset rival three-year-olds when successful in the $200,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) on the same stand alone program in April.
Now a four-year-old, Shazee Lee has been unplaced at all four starts in the new season, but Singleton hasn’t given up on her regaining form this preparation.
Jason Collett, who partnered Fabrizio in his Hawkesbury Gold Cup victory earlier in the year, opposes him tomorrow with the mount on Godolphin’s Duca Valentinois. The former Irish gelding ran 10th to Fabrizio in the Hawkesbury Cup before capturing the Scone Cup over the same distance 13 days later, and is fitter for two runs since resuming.
He closed nicely when third to Fabrizio’s stablemates Cabeza de Vaca and Supply and Demand over 1400m at Randwick on October 28, and though yet to win at that distance, has been placed on five occasions.
Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup has withdrawn both Heartaches and Zegota from the Redbank North Richmond Maiden Plate (1100m) to rely on Boyer (Christian Reith), who will race in a lugging bit.
Instead, Heartaches (Reith) and recent Warwick Farm trial winner Zegota (Winona Costin) will contest the T & L Fowler Concreting Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1100m), where Boyer also was a dual acceptor.
The rail is 3m out from the 1300m to the 400m, and in the TRUE position for the remainder. The track this morning was rated a “Soft 5”, with a penetrometer reading of 5.1.
A total of 19mm of rain has been received in the past week, and 4mm of irrigation has been put on the track.
RACE 1: SEINE NET, Blame It On Paris, Fidele’s Choice.
RACE 2: CONCESSIONS, As I Do, Zaunkonig.
RACE 3: JUNGLIZED, Kennedy, Weston.
RACE 4: ZEGOTA, Heartaches, Kathaire.
RACE 5: DYSLEXIC, Lucky Hada, Auuerbach.
RACE 6: EL DORADO MINE, Banner Season, Chief Kidder.
RACE 7: FABRIZIO, Passage Of Time, Duca Valentinois.
RACE 8: RENEGED, So Spirited, Old Habits.
SPECIALS: SEINE NET, JUNGLIZED, EL DORADO MINE