Pinarello has already proven himself at elite level in Australia and he will bid to add to his record across the Tasman later this month with a three-start campaign locked in by trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood.
Last season’s Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) winner showed he was in fine heart for his upcoming Sydney venture with a bold trial showing at Matamata on Wednesday.
The Cambridge Stud-bred and raced son of Tavistock wasn’t pushed out by rider Vinnie Colgan to finish runner-up in his 1100m heat on a heavy track behind the well-performed sprinter Bonny Lass.
“We certainly expect that of him and we said to Vinnie to let him have a hit-out, but don’t let him off the bridle and he cruised up to some pretty classy horses and did it nicely,” Wellwood said.
Pinarello, who won the Group 2 Championship Stakes (2100m) after finishing fifth in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) before his Queensland success, will head to Sydney on September 18.
“He will run first-up on the 24th in the Shannon Stakes (Group 2, 1500m) at Rosehill and then three weeks into the Craven Plate (Group 3, 2000m), which is worth AUD$750,000, and two weeks to the Rosehill Cup (2000m) and that’s run for AUD$750,000 as well,” Wellwood said.
“Hopefully, we will miss some of the big guns and he will be back in New Zealand by December 1.
“He had a big three-year-old season so we wanted to give him a relatively easy spring and then really focus on next year. He has come up an absolute treat, we are really excited.”
Pinarello was guided to his last two victories by the now-retired Leith Innes and a decision on Sydney riding engagements have yet to be made.
Stablemate Achieve also trialled impressively and was hard held to finish second over 1100m while Cheaperthandivorce ran fourth in the same heat.
Pierro’s daughter Achieve was a multiple Group placegetter last season and ended her campaign when fifth in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).
“She was very good and is a pretty talented mare. She was there or thereabouts against the best of them and was just a bit weak,” Wellwood said.
“She has come up really well and there is a heap of options for her. She is nominated for the Coupland’s Mile (Group 2, 1600m) and that could be a target.
“There are a lot of races for her like the Thompson Handicap (Group 3, 1600m) or even the Matriarch Stakes (Group 2, 2000m) at the end of the spring carnival.”
Cheaperthandivorce won the Thompson last season before she also added the Group 3 Waikato Cup (2400m) to her record, but spring plans for the Savabeel mare have yet to be confirmed.
“It wasn’t a poor trial and she’s a staying mare that wants to get over further,” Wellwood said.
“To be honest, we expected a bit more and we’ll probably go back to the drawing board and work out where we head with her.”
Meanwhile, the much-anticipated return of this season’s pre-post equal Gr.1 Barneswood Farm 1000 Guineas (1600m) favourite Prowess, she currently holds an $8 quote with Best Seller, has been delayed.
She was nominated for both the Group 3 HB/PB Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) and the Listed El Roca – Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m) at Hastings on Saturday.
“We looked at the weather and there’s not a lot of point going down there. She’s only had one trial and it’s a long trip there and back,” Wellwood said.
“She’ll probably run next Wednesday at Cambridge in a Rating 65 over 1300m and then look at the black-type fillies’ races after that.”
Prowess made one appearance as a two-year-old at Wanganui where the daughter of Proisir romped home by nine lengths.