Talented sprinter Dal Cielo’s impressive Wyong barrier trial win on Monday has clinched him a Scone carnival berth.
Kris Lees has named the $150,000 Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) on Saturday week – the second of the annual two-day carnival – as the four-year-old’s next assignment.
Dal Cielo, with Mathew Scorse aboard, beat stablemates Calypso Bay and Sheilarized in Monday morning’s 1000m Open trial in 59.48secs (last 600m in 35.02s). He began well but was eased back in the seven-horse field, then taken to the outside on straightening.
Left: Dal Cielo (Glyn Schofield) scores at Royal Randwick. The gelding trialled nicely in preparation for the Scone Cup Carnival. Image by - Bradley Photographers
Dal Cielo unleashed a powerful burst to edge out Calypso Bay, who came through closer to the inside and also trialled well.
Lees is building a good record with Dal Cielo, who has raced only five times for him for two wins (both in town) and as many seconds. He hasn’t raced since finishing second to noted wet tracker Jungle Edge in the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 25, run on a Heavy 9 surface.
“Dal Cielo races well fresh, and the 1100m and big track at Scone will suit him,” Lees said on Monday afternoon.
Clearly Innocent has pulled up well from his first run for the stable in last Saturday’s XXXX Rush (1100m) at Hawkesbury, and also heads to Scone in an attempt to again win the $150,000 Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) on the same program as Dal Cielo.
Clearly Innocent beat subsequent Group 1 Doomben Ten Thousand winner Music Magnate (an Eagle Farm winner last Saturday) in last year’s race when prepared at Scone by Greg Bennett. The five-year-old finished only ninth to stablemate Felines at Hawkesbury, but his run was excellent in the circumstances.
He was eased back from an awkward draw and forced to race wide, yet still ran through the line strongly even though the last 600m of the Rush was run in 32.83secs.
Slow Pace, last week’s Anzac Day Cup winner at Royal Randwick at big odds, has been nominated for both Friday’s Listed Wagga Wagga Gold Cup and Saturday’s Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill (both are 2000m races and carry prizemoney of $150,000). Lees’a current thinking is to bypass Wagga in favour of a likely Rosehill start.
Rosa Carolina, who ran below her best in last Saturday’s $200,000 Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m), has concluded her current campaign and will have a break.