Naturaliste firms for sprint
Another crack at the $100,000 Fitzpatrick Plate appears firmly on the radar for talented sprinter Naturaliste after his slashing victory despite lumping 60kg at Percy Spencer Racecourse last Friday.
At his fourth run this campaign, Naturaliste camped outside the leader Love Trade for apprentice jockey Randy Tan before producing a devastating turn of foot in the home straight to score by 2¾ lengths on the line.
The six-year-old jumped a $7 chance on the tote in the God Has Spoken 1st Yearlings@2018 Perth MM Sale Handicap (1230m) but proved far too strong for Dream Merger, while Love Trade battled on bravely to claim third place.
After finishing fourth to My Greek Boy in last season’s Fitzpatrick Plate, trainer Kevin Allen said his Fastnet Rock gelding is likely to start at metropolitan level next before possibly returning for the lucrative sprint feature in Albany on February 11.
“With 60kg I was a bit worried. He is only a class four horse up against some that have won a lot more prize money,” Allen said.
“He is such an honest horse. Credit to Leanne and the two girls who do all the work on him.
“The first couple of starts he was jumping slowly, which is not like him. He loves to be on pace, so we went back to a tongue-tie and that helped.
“There are no races for him here now so we’ll have a look at what’s on in Perth and think about the Fitzpatrick (Plate) again.”
Naturaliste has now won five times, four of which have been in Albany, and 60kg is the heaviest impost he has carried to victory.
Meanwhile Albany trainer Garry Delane scored his first winner here in the Great Southern this season with the impressive maiden galloper Defiantly.
Defiantly was well supported into a $2 favourite in the XXXX Gold Boxing Day @Albany Racing Club Maiden (1500m) and burst clear in the final 200m to demolish her rivals by 1¼ lengths.
“She is just very fizzy and still very green,” Delane said.
“Stepping up to 1500m, second-up to win like that was impressive.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails