If a midweek placing at Pakenham brought a tear to the eye of trainer Matt Laurie then one might imagine what reaction Alfa Oro could evoke with spring success.
The options are being kept open for the feel-good sprinter, set to run on Saturday at the Valley in a crack edition of the Listed Carlyon Stakes against the likes of Brooklyn Hustle and Jungle Edge.
Alfa Oro trialled superbly at Mornington last week in preparation for his return to the races and tilt at a fifth-straight win.
“It’s not going to be easy to continue on winning like he has done,” Laurie said.
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“There’s nowhere to hide, he’ll be going into pretty good races, certainly looks like he’s up to it.”
Laurie always had a high opinion of the Kiwi-bred sprinter but a broken leg in 2018 threatened to turn the promising juvenile — at best — into a $240,000 paddock ornament.
Alfa Oro spent the best part of two years off the scene, after two rounds of surgery and three-month periods of strict stable and yard confinement, before running second at Pakenham on April 2.
He returned to win at Pakenham (twice) and then banked victories at Flemington and Caulfield.
“The weeks after surgery that’s when they’re at their most fragile,” Mornington trainer Laurie said.
Popular racehorse Alfa Oro takes out the Almandin Handicap (right) at Flemington. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Supplied
“They can hurt themselves getting up from having a roll so you’re crossing your fingers everything goes to plan and fortunately it has.
“It’s really satisfying, even first-up at Pakenham when he ran second, I had a bit of a tear in the eye that day.
“The process of getting him back, such a long haul, a lot of people involved, hugely satisfying to a lot of people, not just his owners.
“Very grateful he’s up and going now and proving what we felt he might have, obviously he’d been placed pretty well but culminated in two nice city wins.”
But Alfa Oro, who has spent only two weeks in the paddock, faces his toughest test on the track, with Group 1-placed Dollar For Dollar and Group 3 winner Humma Humma set to resume also.
Trainer Matt Laurie believes Alfa Oro returns well placed to be competitive.Source:AAP
Brooklyn Hustle was a dominant first-up winner at the Valley while the forecast rain puts Jungle Edge squarely in the winning picture.
“It’s hard to know with a horse like him (how far he gets), you just raise the bar (and) let him tell us,” Laurie said of Alfa Oro’s chances.
“He looks pretty forward, I wouldn’t say he’s 100 per cent fit for it but he’s got nice residual fitness.
“It will be a really good, competitive race, that’s for sure.”
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IS MORE JOYOUS COLT REALLY THE BEST EVER?
Peter Moody and Luke Nolen combined to deliver blue blood colt Best Ever a debut win at Pakenham on Tuesday.
Nolen parked the three year-old Snitzel colt, out of eight-time Group 1 winner More Joyous, on speed in the slowly-run race and kicked strongly at the 300m mark to score on the synthetic surface.
The regally-bred prospect is the third of More Joyous’ progeny to get to the track and win on debut, joining half-brother More Sundays and half-sister Woman.
Best Ever’s unraced two year-old full-sister, Joyous Legend, is being trained in Sydney by Gerald Ryan.
“He’s a horse a month or six weeks ago I was questioning what he had under the bonnet,” Moody said.
“Since we put the blinkers on he’s turned the corner.
Peter Moody says the blue blood in his stable has turned to corner.Source:News Corp Australia
“I thought only experience would beat him (Tuesday).”
Colourful racing identity and businessman John Singleton, who owned More Joyous, bred the colt at his Strawberry Hill Stud.
Best Ever educated at Lindsay Park prior to being transferred to Moody’s boutique Pakenham yard.
“We’ll try and build on today,” Moody told Racing.com post-race.
“We’re not going to get excited and name Caulfield Guineas … we’ll find a nice (benchmark) 64 for him in the next couple of weeks.
“It’s nice to get these well bred horses in the yard.”
Second favourite Queen Of Rocks was close to last turning for home but benefited from a masterful William Pike ride, saving ground on the rail, to finish a close-up second.
Strongly-fancied Lord Wonder bombed after he too settled near last and tried to swing wide and circle the field.
Sky Racing news update 18th August 2020
Sky Racing news update 18th August 2020
Originally published asFifth straight: Can the broken-leg horse win again?
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