New Zealand Group One winner Dal Cielo is to continue his career in Australia on a permanent basis.
The three-year-old will join the Kris Lees stable in Newcastle following a change in the make-up of the ownership group.
Dal Cielo is part-owned by Wellington-based Lib Petagna who also races dual Group One winner Lucia Valentina with Lees.
“Dal Cielo has been gelded and there’s been a change with the Homebush Partnership having sold their share, but Lib has remained involved,” bloodstock agent Bruce Perry, who manages Petagna’s thoroughbred interests, told NZ Racing Desk.
Formerly trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Dal Cielo won the Group One Diamond Stakes at two and was placed last spring in both the Caulfield and Sandown Guineas but was unplaced in three starts in Sydney during the autumn.
“The horse has had a few issues and hopefully he can improve and find his old form. He’s had a nice break and we’re really happy with him,” Perry said.
Petagna has another prospect for this year’s Caulfield Guineas, Saracino, who is trained by Baker and Forsman.
“On what he’s done so far he is a pretty exciting horse,” Perry said.
Saracino finished third on debut in a Group Three race and at his third and most recent start was third in the Group One Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.