Natuzzi the master of his own destiny
Paul Richards will be happy for Natuzzi to dictate his own path this preparation.
The Byerley Park trainer has no set spring programme in place for the nine-year-old, who will resume in the Gr.3 Sweynesse Stakes (1215m) at Rotorua on Saturday.
|Natuzzi Photo: Trish Dunell Photography|
A multiple stakes winner, Natuzzi has competed with distinction up to the highest level with five Group One placings and Richards is keeping an open mind on the gelding’s future.
“He seems happy and bright and his work on Tuesday morning was good,” he said.
“He’s probably not as sharp as he was when he was four and five, but that’s just age and that happens to all of us.
“We’ll wait and see if he’s still good enough for Group One company. I’m not ruling anything out and his form will dictate where we go.”
Should Natuzzi give him the necessary encouragement, Richards said the Gr.1 NRM Sprint (1400m) – a race the Coats Choice gelding has twice finished runner-up in – might become a realistic target.
“He could even get out to a mile later on, he’s been more relaxed in his trials and on the track when he’s galloping.”
Natuzzi has finished runner-up in 1000m trials at both Avondale and Ruakaka ahead of Saturday’s weight-for-age contest, in which he will be ridden by Doni Prastiyou.
“I was going to run him at the last meeting at Ellerslie, but they scrapped the 1200m race and it would have been too heavy anyway,” Richards said.“I’ve kept him ticking over and waiting for the tracks to improve.” – NZ Racing Desk.