The Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained Rondinella was sent out a $2 short-priced favourite by punters in the Willie Vermeulen at Crockfords of Greerton Handicap (2100m) at Tauranga on Friday and won accordingly, beating Gold Spice by 2-1/4 lengths.
“I publicly labelled this mare a year ago and we have had our little problems with her, but hopefully they are all behind us,” James said.
“In retrospect it hasn’t been a bad thing because she’s about four inches higher than she was this time last year. She’s a big mare and I think she has got it all ahead of her.”
While James believes his mare is capable of stepping up to Group company, he will take a cautious approach with her.
“I have no doubt she is up to a good Group race over this sort of trip at some stage of her career,” James said. “But she is just reaching maturity and we’ll probably just step her another one through the grades before we make any rash decisions.”