Warwick Farm preview: Soprano to hit the right note on debut
One of the most successful owner/trainer partnerships in racing could soon add another stakes winner to its combined tally when the Dunedoo filly Soprano makes her long-awaited debut.
The filly was raised at George Altomonte’s Corumbene Stud, between Dubbo and Mudgee in the state’s central west.
Altomonte is credited with breeding two Golden Slipper winners, namely Sebring (the sire of Soprano) and Overreach, who is scheduled to deliver a Zoustar foal in late September.
Soprano is trained by Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou, whose honour roll of Altomonte-owned gallopers housed at their Unwin St HQ includes the likes of Menari, Standout, Samantha and Bottega.
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Soprano was an early foal in breeding terms (August 16) but is only just now making her debut in the twilight of her two-year-old phase.
“She has taken a little bit of time, she hasn’t been overly strong,’’ Ryan said.
“She had a few in-and-out preparations and appears to be going good again now.
“She has a nice gate so I would think she would sit off the speed and get home.’’
Soprano will be ridden in the ATC Too Darn Hot Handicap (1100m) by dual Everest and three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
“I like Kerrin, we’ve had a lot of luck together for a long time,’’ Ryan said.
Menari was one of many successful horses owned by George Altomonte and trained by Gerad Ryan. Picture: Simon BullardSource:News Corp Australia
Punters won’t get too many more opportunities to back stablemate Saas Fee, who resumes on Wednesday, almost certainly for the last time in her career before heading to stud.
Saas Fee is worth her weight in gold as a daughter of Ryan’s own Group 1 Lightning Stakes winner Snitzerland, who still holds the Warwick Farm 1000m course record at 56.10 seconds when she hit a top speed of 64.3km/h.
“Saas Fee’s two runs at Warwick Farm have been quite good and she goes well fresh,’’ Ryan said.
“She is going to stud at the end of this prep.
“She has been a fraction disappointing for what I thought she would do but she’s going all right. Her two trials have been quite good, actually.’’
Ryan and Alexiou’s final runner on the card is Zell, an I Am Invincible gelding out of a three-quarter-sister to Ryan’s 2006 Oakleigh Plate winner and subsequent four-time champion sire, Snitzel.
Zell has won up to 1350m but will need to stretch himself out for another 50m if he is to win the ATC Bowermans Office Furniture Handicap.
“We’ve gone to 1400m before, he just gets it,’’ Ryan said.
“Barrier one means he won’t have to do any work and he is going to be right on top of the speed.
“He has come back well. His two trials have been solid and he gets in OK after the claim. He should have perhaps finished closer the other day. He wouldn’t have beaten the winner (Katalin) but I thought he should have run second.’’
This weekend, Ryan has the chance to train his first stakes winner by his own former sprinter Rubick when Amica contests the Listed ATC Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill.
Lucky Sun can rise to occasion
Trainer Mark Newnham says punters ought not be put off by the seemingly underwhelming trial from the stable’s well-bred Lucky Sun, who resumes in the Too Darn Hot Handicap (1100m) at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
The May 3 heat at Randwick was won by subsequent BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Tiger Of Malay, who crossed the line almost eight lengths ahead of Lucky Sun, who clocked in last of the seven.
“I just wanted him to have a quiet day out,’’ Newnham said.
“He is a horse that gets himself a bit worked up so I wanted him to have a day out where he didn’t over-do it and he has come through it well.
“He is a lot easier to handle now as a gelding. He had that one run earlier in the year and he got himself a bit worked up in the yard and going to the barriers, so he’s been a lot better since he was gelded.’’
Lucky Sun returns as a gelding for trainer Mark Newnham. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
That one run at Rosehill on January 4 happened to be in what may yet turn out to be a red-hot form race given the regard in which the winner, Remarque, is held.
Josh Parr rode Lucky Sun on debut and in all three trials; he will be on the colt again from barrier two.
“If he handles himself well at the races, he will run to his ability and his ability would see him pretty well placed in that race I would think,’’ Newnham said.
Lucky Sun is from the first Australian crop of Japan’s Hong Kong Mile winner, Maurice.
Newnham and Parr combine for a second time on Wednesday with the $130,000 Inglis Classic Yearling purchase, Law Party, who went close to a winning debut on day one of 2021 in a race at Canterbury.
The son of Press Statement was tipped out after failing at Warwick Farm 12 days later.
“He probably had come to the end of his prep,’’ Newnham says.
“I just gave him the one trial this time trying to get his prep to last a bit longer. He has drawn a tricky gate but Warwick Farm being a momentum track, it is probably not as big a disadvantage.’’
Originally published asWarwick Farm preview: Soprano to hit right note
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