Wexford stables have a strong chance of taking home the silverware at Arawa Park on Saturday where Giovanno Canaletto and Sleeping Beauty will represent the Matamata barn in the two feature races.
Group 1 performer Giovanni Canaletto will contest the Group 3 Rotorua Cup (2200m) and his connections are hoping the regally-bred son of Galileo can replicate his form from February where he finished third in the Listed Kaimai Stakes (2000m) at Matamata.
The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained seven-year-old subsequently finished unplaced in the Group 2 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) on a Good3 track and his trainers believe he will appreciate the current Dead6 track conditions (as of Wednesday) in Saturday’s contest. “He found the ground a bit too firm for him at Awapuni and he just never let go,” Scott said. “We’re hoping for some more yielding ground on the weekend, he might let go a little bit better and run like he did the start prior. “He looks great and he has worked up well. He’s certainly capable (of winning on Saturday), it’s just a matter of him putting his best foot forward and being in the right mindset. “Providing the ground is not absolutely bottomless he should be fine.”
Meanwhile, Sleeping Beauty will carry owner Sir Peter Vela’s blue and white colours in the Group 3 ISCL Rotorua Stakes (1400m) and Scott believes she too will appreciate the track conditions after finishing fourth on a Heavy10 track over 1215m when fresh-up at Rotorua last month.“She’s just a real improver and benefited a lot from the run fitness-wise. It was her first run in a wee while and she might have found the ground a little bit testing for her fitness levels,” Scott said. “She has taken a good deal of improvement with it. Over 1400m she wouldn’t want to hit a bottomless track because a long 1400m might just be out of her range, but if they are getting traction she’ll run it out far and away stronger.”
Scott is buoyed by her recent trackwork heading into Saturday. “She threw in her best piece of work for a good deal of weeks on Tuesday morning,” he said. “She worked in a manner that suggests she is going to run really well. When she works well she usually races well.” Scott said there are no set plans instore for either Sleeping Beauty or Giovanni Canaletto at this stage and the Wexford team would just take it race-by-race with each runner in the coming months.