Promising three-year-old stayer Pinarello shook off the disappointment of being late scratched at the barrier earlier this month with a stunning win in the Gr.2 Trelawney Stud Championship Stakes (2100m) at Pukekohe on Saturday.
The Brendan and Jo Lindsay-bred and owned son of Tavistock had been one of the favourites for the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) at Awapuni on April 2, but an issue with a tooth, that saw him with blood around the mouth immediately prior to the start, necessitated his scratching from the contest.
Last seen when running fifth behind Asterix in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) in March, Pinarello disputed favouritism with last start winner Hoard The Bourbon on Saturday and delivered on that warm support with a comprehensive performance.
Settled beautifully one out behind the speed by rider Leith Innes, Pinarello was simply cruising on the point of the turn as Innes let him amble forward to challenge pacemaker Saint Bathans.
Innes pushed the button and Pinarello shot away from his rivals, easing down at the finish to record a three-length victory over maiden galloper Titled, who closed off strongly for second ahead of Lingjun Xiongfeng.
Co-trainer Roger James, who prepares the gelding with training partner Robert Wellwood, was mindful Pinarello hadn’t raced for over six weeks before the contest but was full of confidence he could perform to expectations.
“That was a very good run and although we were confident, he hadn’t raced since the Derby in early March,” he said.
“I wasn’t convinced he should have been scratched at Awapuni, as I think it was a borderline call, but we have moved on and were focused on getting him ready for today.
“Leith rode him nicely and he travelled very well in the run and you saw his class when he extended away like he did.”
James will now monitor the recovery powers of his charge with an eye on a trip to Brisbane next month.
“As long as he pulls up well, then he will be in serious consideration for a trip to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby (Gr.1, 2400m),” he said.
“The race today will have brought his fitness on again and we would look at a race like the Rough Habit Plate (Gr.3, 2000m) as a possible lead-up to a Derby start.”
The Gr.3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) is run at Doomben on May 14 with the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) raced at Eagle Farm a fortnight later.
A half-brother to stakes winners Bavella and Vernazza, Pinarello is out of the Zabeel mare Zonza (NZ), who won the Gr.3 Ladies’ Day Vase (1600m) at Caulfield for James.
He has now won three of his six starts and just under $130,000 in prizemoney. – NZ Racing Desk