By Ray Hickson
Trainer Mark Newnham has the fingers crossed for a dry autumn as in-form galloper Lanciato made a compelling case to be set or the Doncaster Mile with another sensational win at Rosehill on Saturday.
The five-year-old overcame plenty of traffic from the home turn but was able to unleash a dazzling turn of foot to win the Listed $150,000 Carrington Stakes (1400m) in dominant fashion.
Newnham said he’ll definitely throw in a nomination for the $3m Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships and give Lanciato his chance to qualify through the Newcastle Newmarket on March 8 – weather permitting.
“If you look at his form since he came from New Zealand it’s pretty faultless on dry tracks,’’ Newnham said.
“He keeps improving and we’ve worked out now he likes space between his runs and to ride him a bit quiet and save him up for his last 400m.’’
Re-live Lanciato's stunning win in the Listed Carrington Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday
Barrier one proved to be a big asset to Lanciato in the first half of the race but things became a bit sticky from the 600m after jockey Rachel King improved along the fence and into a traffic jam.
After a few anxious moments King was able to ease Lanciato across heels and he let down in a similar vein to his previous start at Randwick – this time Punters Intel data revealed he ran 11.57 for his last 200m, off basically a standing start to run down Prized Icon and Endless Drama.
“All I said to Rachel was ride him to suit him. The temptation was there to try and be closer because we had barrier one,’’ he said.
“She’s had faith in the horse after having one ride on him the other day and I was surprised he was able to balance up so quickly and hit the line so well.
“Barrier one probably helped us a bit because we could save some ground and if we had to come around them it probably would be more difficult.’’
The Carrington was King’s third win at Listed level and brought her within one win of outriding her 1.5kg claim. She holds an 11 win lead over Jean Van Overmeire, who also rode a winner on Saturday, in the Apprentices Premiership.
She said Lanciato travelled in great style throughout the race and despite it being her second ride on the horse was still taken aback by his sprint once she worked to the outside.
“There were half runs appearing in front of me and I didn’t want to be poking into spaces where there wasn’t runs,’’ King said.
“I just pulled him out and let him go, and once I got him out he has a serious turn of foot.’’
She joked that she had a deal with Newnham that is she was successful on Lanciato in the Carrington she could retain the ride for the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket (1400m).