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Faraglioni thriving ahead of Cuddle Stakes

Faraglioni (outside) working alongside Wewillrock and Sindee in an exhibition gallop at Otaki last week.   - Photo: Peter Rubery, Race Images
Faraglioni (outside) working alongside Wewillrock and Sindee in an exhibition gallop at Otaki last week.

Photo: Peter Rubery, Race Images

By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Faraglioni should be enjoying a well-deserved spell at the moment, but trainer Josh Shaw said his Group One performer had other ideas.

The five-year-old mare has been a revelation for the Levin trainer this season, winning one and placing in five of her seven starts, including runner-up in the Gr.1 TAB Classic (1600m), Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) and Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m).

The daughter of El Roca was fifth in the Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa last month, which Shaw had planned on being her last start of the preparation, but her antics in the paddock led her to come back into work just a week later.

“After the sprint at Waikato I was going to chuck her out and forget about her for a couple of months, but after being in the paddock and charging around after four days I thought she was better being in work than doing herself an injury, so back she came,” Shaw said.

Faraglioni, who was bred by Arkle Bloodstock and Gordon Cunningham, had an exhibition gallop at Otaki last week and Shaw said that has brought her on nicely for the Gr.3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.

“She worked up really nicely, so I have just been ticking her over for Saturday’s run,” he said.

“She went a nice, easy three-quarter 1000m and worked home in the last 600m, it was a pretty sharp gallop in that last 600m. She worked with a couple of nice horses (Wewillrock and Sindee), so it was pleasing.”

Faraglioni and Shaw have seen plenty of the North Island over the last couple of months, with the mare campaigning in Waikato and Auckland, and Shaw is looking forward to the much shorter drive down State Highway One this weekend.

“Three of her last four runs have been at Pukekohe, Ellerslie and Te Rapa, so it will be quite good chucking her on the truck and only going an hour down the road,” he said.

“She loves Trentham, she has only been there three times for a fourth, a win and a second.”

Shaw has taken particular confidence from her runner-up performance behind Desert Lightning in the TAB Classic at the Upper Hutt track in December, with the victor securing a wildcard in Saturday’s A$4 million All-Star Mile (1600m) with his win in the inaugural $1 million Aotearoa Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie in January.

“Aegon came out of that race as well and then ran second in the Group One at Otaki (and has also been given a wildcard for the All-Star Mile), so the form is stacking up,” Shaw said.

Faraglioni will step back up to a mile in Saturday’s contest, the same distance as her possible next assignment, the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie on March 30.

Back up to a mile, she is telling me she is ready for that now,” Shaw said. “A mile with a bit of give in the track, I think we will be right in it up to our eyeballs.

 If she pulls up well and does everything right then we will be back up to Ellerslie for the New Zealand Breeders’. She doesn’t mind Ellerslie - one start on the course for a nice second in a good race. We will definitely be looking that way anyway.

 “She doesn’t know where her ceiling is. If we don’t find it shortly, we will keep chucking her in the deep-end. She deserves a good one.” LOVERACING.NZ News Desk


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