A comprehensive victory at Trentham on Saturday could see Matamata three-year-old Cavallo Veloce force his way into the field for the rich Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie.
Languishing well down the order of entry for the million-dollar race, Cavallo Veloce enhanced his prospects of gaining a start in the event with a formidable home-straight charge that saw him down his age-group rivals over 1200m in the opening event on the day.
With entry into the Ellerslie feature determined by handicap rating, the Peter McKay-trained galloper earned a valuable seven-point increase for the victory which could see him sneak into the final field.
That option was clearly on the mind of McKay when discussing the performance after the race.
“I will talk to Shaun (jockey Shaun McKay) as he did feel good before the race,” he said.
“There is a chance (of going to Ellerslie) as we’ve run Alamosa down here one week and took him home and come back for the following week.
“It can be done, as they can back up, so there is a possibility.”
McKay was pleased to see Cavallo Veloce put his best effort out on the track after he disappointed in Group Three company at Ellerslie at his last start.
“We’ve been having a lot of problems with him,” he said.
“We put blinkers on him for the Guineas (at Hastings) and he over-raced but he has them on again now.
“He came unstuck at his last run when Langkawi came back on him and he ended up sore for a good week. He’s had boils as well, so it’s been a nightmare.
“It’s nice to see him back to it as he showed on Saturday.”
McKay is undecided about longer term plans for Cavallo Veloce as he is still trying to work out at what distance he will be best suited.
“By his pedigree he should be a mile plus,” he said
“His three-quarter brother, War Affair, is a good 1400m-1600m horse while his half-brother Charles Road is good over ground.
“I think he is more of a miler but then I start to rethink myself and he could be a sprinter.
“I think simply he’s just going to be a handy horse.”
The Oaks Stud will offer a half-sister to Cavallo Veloce by Pentire as Lot 57 during Book 1 at the National Yearling Sale Series at Karaka that starts on January 27. – NZ Racing Desk