Consistent Horowhenua galloper Dolcetto will tackle 2200m for the first time on Saturday when he lines-up in the Listed Royston Hospital Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m), but his trainer Sylvia Kay doesn’t think it will be an issue for her gelding.
The Per Incanto six-year-old hadn’t been tested over further than a mile prior to his latest preparation, but he has pleased Kay when stepping up in distance in his last two starts.
He finished runner-up in the Group 3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) in February before running home late to finish fourth in the Group 2 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) last start.
“He didn’t have the best of runs (at Awapuni),” Kay said. “He got a bit far back and then he got thrown out on the turn, which cost him a fair bit of ground I think.”
Back to handicap conditions on Saturday, Dolcetto will lob 60 kgs and jump from the outside barrier of the 11 horse field.
“He has drawn the outside. There seems to be something with him and (good) draws that don’t seem to match up,” Kay said.
“He’s pretty well and it’s a pity he has got to carry the 60kg, but I think he can carry the weight. He hasn’t been 2200m (before), but he’s given every indication that he shouldn’t have a problem with it.
“It’s a bit of a learning experience (stepping up to 2200m), it would be good to think he can stay.
“He’s got the breeding there, so we will just have to wait and see. I will be very pleased if he can do well, he deserves to, he’s always thereabouts and he just needs an ounce of luck really.”
Kay is confident that she has Dolcetto primed for Saturday’s contest, but she is just hoping for a little bit of luck in the running for her charge, who will be ridden by Rosie Myers.
“Rosie will have to ride him back (from that draw),” she said. “I guess he’s got a bit further to go, so he will have a bit of time to make his run.
“He has raced at Hawke’s Bay well before over shorter distances, so the track won’t be a problem for him.
“He’s been an unlucky horse. He causes a lot of his own problems from doing silly things like hanging. He seems to get in a bit of bother at times, but he is well and loves the racing.
“He’s just got to get his act together and get something going right for a change. It’s quite frustrating when he pulls up like he’s hardly had a race at times.”
Kay has become a bit frustrated with the race programming heading into winter and said it will be hard to place Dolcetto after Saturday’s contest.
“There are not a lot of options for him,” she said. “We are running out of staying races. It’s hard to get staying races for the younger ones as well.
“There’s a 1600m at Manawatu, he will probably come back to 1600 alright if the tracks get a bit wet, because he can handle the wet tracks. That might be his only option for a while.
“We’ll just have to see what happens from race to race.”
Kay said she is having similar issues with stablemates Dr Watson, who finished unplaced fresh-up over 1400m at Awapuni last Friday, and Sylvester. Although an Australian campaign is a possibility for the latter.
“Dr Watson is jumping out of his skin,” she said. “It was just nice to get a sprint into him and now it’s hard to find another race to get them going before the staying races in the wet.
“The programmes are not so good. The same thing goes for Sylvester. He should be racing, but I will have to wait until May 5 at Wellington, there’s a good race for him there.
“It is frustrating, he is very well and there is nowhere to go. If he could go to Australia it would be good, but it’s not easy for some of us.
“I have thought about it (going to Australia with Sylvester). Kevin Myers is quite keen to take him over I think, so we will just see.
“But he’s such a lovely horse to have around home it would be a bit hard to part with him. He’s kind of everyone’s friend.”