By Ray Hickson
A late spring cameo is just what promising filly Lucicello has needed to steel her for loftier goals in the second half of the season.
Trainer Chris Waller has his sights set on the $1 million Inglis 3yo Sprint for the grey at Warwick Farm in February and Group races around The Championships time.
Lucicello showed potential with a couple of dominant wins at the end of July then posted a couple of stakes placings before returning with a soft win at Rosehill two weeks ago.
Waller said it’s likely the Pages Event Hire Handicap (1200m) at Kembla Grange on Saturday will have her sufficiently prepared to step back up in early 2020.
“She's got some black type but she just needs a bit of racing to polish up,’’ he said.
“She's around to win some prizemoney, $125,000 plus a BOBS bonus is as good as winning a Listed race.
“She will join back up with the fillies late in the autumn, races like the PJ Bell and James Carr.’’
The Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) is held on Day 1 of The Championships on April 4 while the Group 3 James Carr (1400m) is two weeks later at Randwick.
Lucicello wins at Rosehill on November 9
Waller said strong consideration will be given to the Inglis Sprint (1100m) on February 8, the race he won in 2019 with Fiesta.
“She’ll run Saturday and give we’ll her a quiet time, maybe a week off and go to that race fresh,’’ he said.
Lucicello is the $2.50 favourite with TAB on the back of that Rosehill win first-up where she sat back and posted the fastest last 600m of the entire meeting (33.19 Punter's Intelligence) as she ran down Invictus Salute.
One of the horses Lucicello will have to chase down if she’s to win again at Kembla is the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Call Me Royal who resumes with a record of never finishing worse than second in four first-up attempts.
Bott said the four-year-old, $21 with TAB, is more forward this preparation than when beaten a head fresh back in May but has barrier 12 and 60.5kg to contend with.
“I thought her trials have been good and she has a nice grounding going into it first-up,’’ he said.
“A lot of her racing has been done from wide draws where she can take her time and get across.
“She’s been pretty consistent throughout her career, blinkers go on, she has plenty of speed and can take some catching.’’