Age no barrier for evergreen Natuzzi
Evergreen sprinter Natuzzi showed he is far from a spent force at the top level when he produced another class performance at Tauranga on the weekend.
The ageless nine-year-old has been amongst the country’s elite sprinters over the past five seasons and he displayed all his customary late dash to down the younger brigade once again in Saturday’s Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Handicap (1400m).
|Natuzzi Photo: Trish Dunell|
The victory continued an outstanding second-up record for the Coats Choice gelding who has now won in that state in his last four preparations.
Trainer Paul Richards had been confident of a good performance from his stable favourite after he had caught the eye when finishing resolutely at Rotorua to kick off this campaign.
“He went nicely at Rotorua when he ran home well so I knew he would take plenty of benefit from that run,” he said.
“He has been keen in his work so we went into Saturday confident he would go well.
“It was a nice ride by Doni (Prastiyou) as he did exactly what we talked about before the race and had him in the right place at exactly the right time.
“He finished the race off strongly and has pulled up well afterwards.”
Richards is mindful of just what stage in his career Natuzzi is at but believes he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.
“He is still enjoying life and loves being in the stable so while he is a happy horse we will press on with him,” he said.
“Of course, the moment he shows any signs that he can’t compete then he will be off to a good life in the paddock but that still appears to be a wee way off.
“This campaign we will look to stretch out his distances as he doesn’t really have what it takes to win against the best at 1200m anymore.
“He has only raced over a mile five times for a win and a couple of placings, but I think that is where he can shine. He has relaxed far better in his two starts this time in which will help him get a mile, so I think there is a good win in him at the distance.
“Being an older horse, you can’t look too far ahead but a race like the Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie might be a good target if he keeps going like he is.” – NZ Racing Desk