Cielo D’Oro out to maintain consistency in Darwin

Darwin trainer Phil Cole
Darwin trainer Phil Cole believes Cielo D’Oro can show his class at Fannie Bay this Friday.

The Phil Cole-trained Cielo D’Oro is proving to be a model of consistency in Darwin.

The seven-year-old gelding has had 17 starts since making his Fannie Bay debut in August 2022, and he has never missed the top four.

With four wins and 10 minor placings, Cielo D’Oro will be out to enhance his reputation in the Top End on Friday when he faces open company over 1200m.

Jumping from gate six in a seven-horse field, the son of Medaglia D’Oro will lump 59kg thanks to the 2kg claim of apprentice jockey Emma Lines.

Stablemate Merseyside, Mark Nyhan’s Bat Pad, and Gary Clarke’s Desert Dreamer, Bel’s Banner, Influential Jack and Siakam complete the field.

After finishing fourth in the Palmerston Sprint (1200m) in August during the Darwin Cup Carnival, Cielo D’Oro spent four months in the paddock.

He returned at the end of last year and had three starts, finishing second and third behind Cole’s Darwin Guineas winner Tubthumper over 1200m before saluting over 1100m on December 30.

On Australia Day, Cielo D’Oro went close over 1300m in very wet and muddy conditions when second behind Noir De Rue where 0.8 lengths separated the first four.

The gelding was also in the mix three weeks ago over 1300m and led half way down the home straight before stablemate Saccharo stormed home for victory.

Brisbane apprentice Minonette Kennedy rode Cielo D’Oro in those past two starts and did little wrong.

Lines, who partnered Saccharo on February 3, was the pilot when Cielo D’Oro last had success.

Cole is adamant Cielo D’Oro is a decent chance on Friday.

“The horse has been ultra consistent since I’ve had him,” he said.

“He won first-up in Darwin, but his second run was perhaps his only disappointing run.

“He just got away from us a little bit between runs during his first campaign.

“We learned a lot from that and we’ve been able to maintain his form ever since.

“He’s been racing at the elite level against the best sprinters up here.

“Hasn’t disgraced himself at all — he’s been a very good find for the stable.”

Cole said the wide gate wasn’t ideal for Cielo D’Oro, the early +200 favourite with online bookmakers.

“He’s a big, strong and a long-striding horse,” he said.

“If he gets caught wide throughout the run, I won’t be too disappointed.

“It gives him a really good chance to wind up and put himself into the race.”

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