Carlo primed for Cup
By Adam Hamilton
TAKE a look at San Carlo’s mighty Victoria Cup run if you’re pondering a punt on the New Zealand Cup.
The results shows he ran fourth, but it was the run of the race and showed the late-maturing veteran was in career-best form headed towards the NZ Cup and Auckland Inter Dominion.
San Carlo, just second-up from a spell, sat parked, poured the pressure on leader Cash N Flow in record-smashing times and still fought-on for fourth – just 8.3m from winner Bling It On.
He was the ONLY horse to finish in the top seven, who raced away from the marker pegs. And that’s after doing more work than anything else in a 1min51.5sec mile rate for 2240m, which took a full second of Lazarus’ record in the 2017 Victoria Cup.
“It was always going to be hard from the draw and it turned out how we pretty much expected, but he ran so well. He did us proud,” co-trainer Steve O’Donoghue said. “We think he’s better than ever and his two runs this time in point to that as well.
“He sort of surprised us doing all that work and still digging in to win first-up in the Kilmore Cup, then he was so brave the other night. The shorter 2240m and drawing wide was always going to be a really big ask.”
San Carlo might be a nine-year-old, but he was such a slow-maturer he didn’t have his first start until a late four-year-old.
O’Donoghue now firmly has his sights set on the second Tuesday in November at Addington, then heading on to Auckland.
“The Inter Dominion was always a target, but when he came back so well, and he stepped away well at home when we tried him from stand-starts, we decided to give the NZ Cup a go as well,” O’Donoghue said. “By the time we decided, the noms had closed, but we were happy to pay a late fee to be part of it.
“If he steps well the 3200m will really suit him as will the big track.”
San Carlo is booked to fly across November 5.
“He’ll then head to Auckland when all the horses go up from Christchurch after Cup Week,” O’Donoghue said. “Being part of one Inter Dominion is amazing, but to take this horse to three consecutive Inter Dominions is special. And we think this is the best we’ve had him.”
The buzz goes to another level for O’Donoghue to share the experience close friend and training partner Bec Bartley.
“This horse has helped make Bec and they get along so well. He’s given her some great opportunities and she’s made the most of them,” he said.