Price wants Marconi to go out on a winning note
Mick Price is looking to increase exciting three-year-old Marconi’s handicapping rating by winning at Flemington on Saturday before he goes for a spell.
Price has engaged top apprentice Jason Maskiell for Marconi in the Fiesta Star Hcp (1000m) against only five rivals which include Sydney colt Winter King and the Lee Freedman-trained filly Tariks who have both been stakes-placed.
"I don’t need to cook him as a three-year-old in races like the Lightning Stakes next month and the Oakleigh Plate in February so I’ll spell him for six weeks after he runs on Saturday," Price said.
"He can have a run or two from late April, early May, have a break and then I’ll be throwing him into the deep end when he’s four.
"He seems to handle bad ground alright so I just want to get his rating up. Hopefully he can win on Saturday."
Price bought Grosvenor mare Capriceuse in foal to Lago Delight for his wife Caroline for $4,500 and the resultant offspring was Marconi.
The gelding has impressed the Caulfield trainer with a six-length debut win over 1000m at Stony Creek on November 6 and a 5-1/2 length victory on his home track on December 5 at his two race starts.
"We’ve given him time because he was a bad-legged horse early, but at the moment he’s perfectly sound," Price said.
"He’ll be good at 1200 metres, no problem. I think he’s a Group horse but he has to do the job yet."
Rosehill trainer David Payne said he wanted to give Winter King a solid test in Melbourne with the intention of bringing him back for the Group One Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 20.
The colt, by Storm Cat stallion One Cool Cat, has won three and been placed in three of eight starts including a second to subsequent Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up Real Saga in the Listed Breeders Plate (1000m) on debut at Randwick.
A winner over 1100m at Canterbury and over 1000m at Randwick, Winter King was spelled after running fifth to Rarified in the Up And Coming Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 22 but has impressed in winning two recent 900m trials at Rosehill by 4-1/2 lengths and 2-1/2 lengths respectively.
"He’s had a couple of trials and come through them well. If he steps up I want to put him in the Oakleigh Plate," Payne said.
The topweight with 59kg, Winter King will be ridden by Dwayne Dunn and has to give 4kg to Marconi and 4.5kg to Tariks who’ll be ridden by apprentice Nathan Rose.
The Mark Kavanagh stable will saddle up first starter We’re Gonna Rock, a Fastnet Rock colt from the same family as Group One winners Bluebird The Word and Porto Roca.
Michael Rodd will ride We’re Gonna Rock.
By Mark Ryan