Sylvia Kay is planning on leaving Awapuni on Saturday in a happier place than she was departing Trentham on Captain Cook Stakes day.
The Levin trainer was bitterly disappointed after Dolcetto was held up behind the weakening leader Mauna Kea on the turn in the Group One 1600m feature and was unable to get clear running room for the remainder of the race.
To make matters worse, Dolcetto’s stablemate Sylvester was denied a clear run in the Chalmers Handicap (2500m) and was also unplaced.
Kay will look for better luck with the pair when Dolcetto tackles the Gr.2 Kamada Park Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) and Sylvester contests the Gr.3 Hotel Coachman Manawatu Cup (2200m) on Saturday.
"You have days like that. Only one horse can win a race. You just have to suck it up and move on," Kay said, reflecting on the Trentham meeting.
"Dolcetto just got carted back just as he was starting to make a run. Jason [Waddell, jockey] said he was absolutely full of running but had nowhere to go. I was pretty gutted after that because he could have won that race with an ounce of luck.
"The horse is really well. He was a bit naughty in the gates before that race but hopefully they will put him in last and he won't do that again."
A winner of eight of his 19 starts, including four from just five starts at Awapuni, Dolcetto has won seven races on tracks rated slow or worse.
TAB bookmakers opened Dolcetto at $10.50 in a Manawatu Challenge Stakes market headed by Ocean Emperor at $2.60 and Wyndspelle at $4.50, but Kay felt her charge was well placed for a compensation win.
"He's got to make amends for what happened at Trentham," Kay said.
"We've had a lot of rain and he handles a rain-affected track. Weight-for-age suits him too because it's hard lugging the 60 and 61 kilos around. He's a strong horse but it's not easy when those other horses only have 54 to carry."
Kay was also pleased with Sylvester going into the Manawatu Cup, in which TAB bookmakers had him as a $46 outsider in a market headed by Glory Days at $2.80.
"He's always running on really well. He always tries his best but he just needs to strike the right tempo. He always relaxes in his races and he'll be running on well," said Kay, who has yet to decide on upcoming starts for Dolcetto and Sylvester.
"There's the Wellington meeting coming up so there's plenty coming up but I haven't really looked past Saturday." - NZ Racing Desk