Uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic has forced a change in plan for high class racemare Rondinella who will commence her next campaign from the stable of Sydney-based trainer, John O’Shea. Raced by Cathy Franich and Haunui Bloodstock Ltd, the rising six-year-old has been prepared throughout her career by Cambridge conditioners Roger James and Robert Wellwood who have guided her to four career victories along with placings at Group One level on both sides of the Tasman.
Haunui Farm Managing Director Mark Chitty was quick to praise the pair as he explained the rationale behind the decision to send the Ocean Park mare to Sydney last week. “She (Rondinella) has gone to John O’Shea and has been over there for just on a week now,” Chitty said. “After talking with Roger (James), she is rising six now and in the back of our minds we have the thought of possibly breeding with her if she doesn’t quite come up. “Given everything that is going on, her potential suitors are in New South Wales so we made the decision to transfer her after having a good discussion.
“She flew over last Sunday and has settled in well during the week. “Roger and Robert did a fantastic job with her. Any horse that can enter a stable unraced and come out as a Group One performer, then you would sign up for that every day of the week. “It is really unfortunate for them but with the Covid-19 situation we had to make the decision that we have.”
Discussions with O’Shea have begun regarding what path he will take with the mare with a plan being put in place to tackle one of the feature staying events during the spring in Sydney. “The Metropolitan (Group 1, 2400m) is the main target for her,” Chitty said. “Her best performances have been out over a trip although we didn’t really pursue that in her last prep. “That is something we would like to test and we want to aim high with her. “She hadn’t done anything pre-training wise before she left so John will be able to start from step one with her with the aim being to get her to the Metropolitan in October.”
Bred by the partnership of Haunui Farm, Franich and Garry Cranny, Rondinella has won four of her 20 lifetime starts and has been stakes placed on six occasions. Those placings include the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie and the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill while she also finished fourth in the 2019 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).