Correggio Wins for New Trainer

The Pencarrow bred Correggio (Excellent Art) made a winning return from a spell to score a notable victory for new trainer Murray Johnson at Seymour yesterday when winning over 1300m.

Correggio sat three wide without cover for the journey, in the testing heavy conditions it was a move that proved decisive. Ex-pat kiwi jockey Cory Parish found the best part of the track in the straight and Correggio powered to the front to draw away to win by 2.3 lengths.

It was the second win by the Pencarrow Stud bred three-year-old from his seven career starts to date. In his last campaign he won over 2080m and was being touted as a Derby prospect. His last start was in the Listed Geelong Classic, a traditional lead in race to the VRC Derby, when trained by Peter Moody.

Since joining the Johnson stable Correggio has been gelded and returned in good order.

“He is a nice horse and showed in what he had done with his previous trainer (Moody) that he had come along well and learnt his lessons. They were obviously expecting significant things from him, he didn’t totally disappoint in the Geelong Classic but came out of the race with some injuries,” commented Johnson.

It was a special moment for Johnson as it was his first starter in Australia after spending the last 30 years plying his trade in America.

“The son of one of the previous owners got together with some of his friends to take over the ownership and I recently had returned (from America) and taken out my licence and they were good enough to give me a shot.

“We will take it very slowly, he does have a few issues but he is in great shape at the moment and we are optimistic,” said Johnson. “I’m a big believer in going through the classes so we will stick to that for a while.”

Correggio is by Excellent Art (Pivotal) with his name being derived from the foremost Italian painter of the 16th century, Antonio Allegri da Correggio. He was an exceptional yearling and was purchased for $250,000 by Tom Magnier/BBA Ireland at the 2011 Karaka Select Sale, the second highest price paid at auction for an Excellent Art in the Southern Hemisphere.

Bred by Peter and Philip Vela, Correggio is out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Magical Moment, the dam of Group 2 Rich Hill Mile victor Fears Nothing. Magical Moment is the full-sister to French Group 3 winner Short Pause and half-sister to Listed winner Cheyenne Dream (Dancing Brave). Their dam Interval (Habitat) was a Group 2 winner and is the granddam of a further six black-type winners including the Group 1 July Cup winner Continent (Lake Coniston).

Magical Moment has a rising yearling by Darci Brahma and is believed to be in foal to Red Giant.

Owned by Mr C J Deighton, Mr J C H Clark & Mr S R Bickford, Correggio collected the lion’s share of the $15,000 stake to take his career earnings to $29,425.