G3 NZ Cup Aim for Deliciano

The Group 3 New Zealand Cup is looming large on the radar for Pencarrow Racing’s Deliciano (Darci Brahma x Santagostino) following a strong win in the $17,500 John Turkington Forestry Rating 85 over 2100m at Awapuni on Saturday.

Having her first run since May, the Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie trained mare entered the race fresh up but with plenty of miles in her legs including a gallop between races at Taupo in recent weeks.

“She was ready, we took her to Taupo for a gallop and she was pretty fit,” commented Ramsay. “I think she is an out-and-out stayer so it was pointless giving her a 1400m or a mile, we had her fit.”

A strong early pace was set in the race which suited Deliciano who settled behind mid-field for rider Samantha Collet. At the 800m mark Collet set Deliciano alight and the Darci Brahma mare was within a couple of lengths of the leader at the top of the straight.

One of the leaders, Josephine (His Royal Highness), kicked clear of the field and Deliciano had to chase her down. Over the concluding stages, she was able to over-power Josephine to triumph by a neck.

“It was good fresh up from her and you’d think there would be a bit of improvement in her,” said Ramsay. “Our goal is the New Zealand Cup. She will probably only have two more runs before then, our aim is to get her there with fresh legs.

“Her next race will possibly be the Hawera Cup, which is over 2300m, and then we will look towards Riccarton.

“She was placed on a Heavy 10 track over 2500m so I would be surprised if she didn’t get the two miles of the New Zealand Cup.”

Saturday’s win was Deliciano’s sixth victory for owner Sir Peter Vela, earning $77,760 in her career so far.

Bred by Sir Peter and Philip Vela, Deliciano is out of Group 2 Great Northern Guineas and Listed Gold Coast Bracelet winner Santagostino (Giant’s Causeway), a half-sister to Group 1 New Zealand Oaks winner Vapour Trail (Jetball) and Listed winner Encosta Diablo (Encosta de Lago).

Santagostino was served by champion racehorse and exciting first season sire Ocean Park last year.