Well tried path for Black Piranha
Trainer Con Karakatsanis will look to a tried and true preparation for Group One winner Black Piranha’s upcoming campaign.
The six-year-old has been earmarked for a return in the Group Two Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 20, the same weight-for-age race that stamped him as potential big-race contender last year.
“He is Doncaster and Stradbroke-bound this year and he’s on target,” Karakatsanis said.
“At this stage I’ll give him two trials before he resumes in the Canterbury Stakes.”
Black Piranha resumed from a nine-week let-up in the Canterbury Stakes last year and was a luckless fourth behind All Silent, Forensics and Royal Discretion.
It proved a springboard as he then went on to finish second in three consecutive Group Ones – George Ryder, Doncaster, and Doomben 10,000 – before breaking through at the top level in the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm.
Black Piranha racked up another Group One second in the spring when runner-up to Road To Rock in the George Main Stakes but was unplaced in three Melbourne starts.
He was well beaten over 2040 metres in the Cox Plate but finished his campaign with a fair fourth in the Emirates Stakes (1600m) won by All American.
Stablemate News Alert was given a well-earned rest after winning the Listed Canterbury Classic (1100m) under lights last month.
Karakatsanis will bring him back for an autumn campaign but has yet to determine which races he will target with the sprinter.
He said the Canterbury Classic win on January 14 was satisfying after the gelding had been scratched at the barrier on New Year’s Day at Randwick before the Carrington Stakes.
“The horse had a few doubters after hurting himself at Randwick but I didn’t think he was a $6 chance at Canterbury,” Karakatsanis said.
“It was a pretty hot Canterbury Classic but I think his form warranted a bit more respect.
“It was pleasing after being scratched on New Year’s Day for him to show that he’s a force to be reckoned with.”
News Alert is also in line for a trip to Brisbane with his stablemate for the winter carnival, Karakatsanis said.
By Mathew Toogood