Levin trainer Sylvia Kay is hoping for a turnaround in luck for Dolcetto and Sylvester when they tackle feature races at Trentham on Saturday.
Group Three-winning gelding Dolcetto is set to tackle the Gr.3 Tui – Bacing A Winner Since 1889 Anniversary Handicap (1200m) after a spate of bad luck in his last few runs.
“He had a very unlucky run in the Captain Cook (Gr.1 1600m), he got flattened in that,” she said.
“He was probably a bit wide in the Manawatu Challenge Stakes (Gr.2, 1400m), but he went a good race (to finish third) and hopefully he won’t be so wide this time.”
Kay has been pleased enough with Dolcetto in the lead-up to the race and is hopeful of a solid showing by her runner from barrier six.
“I’m never confident because so much seems to happen lately, we have had a bit of a bad run,” she said.
“But I can’t do anything more than I’ve done and the horse is eating and working well and I just hope everything goes nicely on the day.
“He seems pretty good. It would have been nicer to have drawn a wee bit closer, but he’s not on the outside so I suppose that is something.
“It’s a lovely track, let’s hope he can do the job.”
Dolcetto will head into the race in a freshened state, after his stakes-placing in the Manawatu Challenge Stakes last month, with the aim of having him primed for his major summer target, the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham.
“The idea is that he’ll back-up in the Thorndon Mile the following week,” Kay said. “I have left him a little bit fresh for Saturday, so he should be cherry ripe for the following Saturday.”
Sylvester is another stable runner that Kay is planning to line-up on the first two days of the Wellington Cup carnival. His first assignment will be the Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Trentham Stakes (2100m) on Saturday.
Kay said the Road to Rock gelding has also had no luck in his recent runs, but believes the smaller field on Saturday will assist the stayer.
“He’s another one that hasn’t had the best of trips, but he stays. An ounce of luck at Christchurch (Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m)), the way he was running on, he would have been right in it I think,” Kay said.
“His last start in the Manawatu Cup (Gr.3, 2200m) was a disaster really, he was just wide the whole way and he started to run on at the end, but he just got too far out of it.
“It’s not a very big field on Saturday, so that should suit him pretty well I think.”
Kay is looking forward to reuniting Sylvester with jockey Shaun McKay, with an eye towards the Gr.3 NZ Campus Innovation & Sport Wellington Cup (3200m) at Trentham on January 19.
“Shaun rode him in his first few starts, now he’s on him again, so hopefully all will go well for him,” she said.
“He’ll head to the Wellington Cup. I’ve got to try and get horses into the Wellington Cup, it is one of our best races around here that we have to support and it’s been the aim all along to get him ready for that.”
Kay has fond memories of the two mile race, taking out the Trentham feature in 2011 with Spiro.
“We have had a lot of fun out of that race over the years and it would be lovely to win it again,” she said. “So we can only try.” – NZ Racing Desk