The winning roll of owner Lib Petagna with the progeny of Waikato Stud’s super stallion Savabeel continued at Ellerslie on Saturday when promising filly Sorrentina delivered an eye-catching victory.
Sorrentina, who races under Petagna’s JML Bloodstock banner, had looked a winner in waiting when she debuted with a gutsy third in the Listed The O’Leary’s Fillies Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui earlier in the month. That performance made her the 9th black-type Savabeel for Petagna from the twelve he has owned and on Saturday’s display she looks likely to garner further success at the highest levels after she produced a determined burst to down her three-year-old rivals over 1300m.
Settled in midfield behind a pedestrian speed set-up by Tears Of Jupiter, Sorrentina and rider Danielle Johnson travelled nicely as they bided their time before making their claim early in the run home. Briefly pocketed behind the tiring London Bound, Johnson asked for a supreme effort in the final 150m with Sorrentina responding to surge clear from minor placegetters Blackrocksdetox and Flaunting, who both finished gamely after being well back in the early stages.
Trainer Stephen Marsh confirmed the filly would be returning to Ellerslie next month for another taste of black-type racing. “I was watching and I thought at the 600m we were in a bit of trouble,” Marsh said. “She didn’t really get much of a go at them in the straight but I loved how she got out, flattened out and attacked the line. “We will definitely be back for the Soliloquy (Group 3, 1400m) en route to the South Island.”
The Group 3 Partners Life Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) is the feature event at Ellerslie on October 26 while the filly holds a nomination for the Group 1 Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 16.
Johnson was also impressed with the performance provided by Sorrentina at just her second raceday start. “I was a little bit nervous around the corner as she had dropped the bit, just due to the track conditions,” she said. “She’s definitely shown the X factor when she has picked up to go to the line. “She’s got class and she’s got a good attitude as well.”
A $180,000 purchase from Waikato Stud’s Book 1 draft at the 2018 National Yearling Sale, Sorrentina is a daughter of unraced O’Reilly mare Rush and hails from the extended family of multiple Group One winner and now successful stallion, Sacred Falls. TAB bookmakers responded quickly to the performance as they slashed her odds to $12 in the Fixed Odds market for the One Thousand Guineas.