Fighting Win By Saracino In The Danehill Stakes
Always among the leaders, Saracino took command at the 400 metre mark then fought back when challenged in the closing stages to defeat Archives (Helmet) by a long neck with Samara Dancer (Hinchinbrook) three quarters of a length back in third place. On a Soft 5 track time for the race was 1:09.80 with the last 600 metres covered in 34.17.
Bred and raced by Lib Petagna’s JML Bloodstock Ltd, Saracino is a highly promising colt, although his stamina may be tested beyond 1400 metres. The Danehill Stakes was only his fifth start and followed a brilliant performance to beat older horses at weight-for-age in the Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (Gr 2, 1200m) at Te Rapa on 13 August.
Saracino is the first foal of the placegetter Bella Daniela (O’Reilly) and following him are two sisters, a two-year-old and a yearling.
The mating of Per Incanto (Street Cry) with Bella Daniela appeals on paper as it creates a 4f x 4m double of champion two-year-old Try My Best (Northern Dancer) with a third line of Northern Dancer (Nearctic) in the fifth generation. Another feature is a 5f x 5f double of the influential stallion Riverman (Never Bend).
Bred in the United States, Saracino’s sire Per Incanto was brought to New Zealand in 2011 to retire to Little Avondale Stud, Masterton, after a moderately successful racing career in Italy, England and the United States, most important of his six wins being the Premio Tudini (Gr 3, 1200m) in Rome.
Per Incanto is a half-brother to another former New Zealand-based stallion, Patapan (Stravinsky), also a stakes winning sprinter in Italy, who is now standing in China. Their dam Pappa Real (Indian Ridge) ranked as champion older sprinter in Italy while her third dam Waterloo (Bold Lad) at two years in Britain won the Cheveley Park Stakes (Gr 1, 6f) before capturing the 1000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1m) in 1972.
This season Per Incanto’s service fee has increased to NZ$15,000 (plus GST), reflecting the promising start he has made at stud with five stakes winners, headed by Dal Cielo who took out the Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Ellerslie in 2015. The young sire also has six stakes placegetters among his 46 winners to date.
Saracino’s third dam Ascendo (Conquistarose) bred stakes winners Sir Clive (Bigstone) and Ascending (Bigstone) and the family, long associated with Haunui Farm, has been one of New Zealand’s most renowned over the past 60 years, tracing back to Saracino’s sixth dam, stakes winner Rosehill (Test Case).
Rosehill is remembered as dam of major winners Prince Ruling (Ruling), a sire in Australia, Rosie’s Girl (Zamazaan) and Lavender Hill (Sovereign Edition), Saracino’s stakes winning fifth dam.
Lavender Hill became the dam of stakes winners Khamacruz (Sir Tristram) and Snow Chief (Balmerino) as well as producing Saracino’s fourth dam On The Rise (Crested Wave), dam of ten winners including stakes winners Dopff (Tights), Rizon (Zabeel) and Ready To Lift (More Than Ready).
From Dopff descends stakes winners Pussy Willow (O’Reilly), Pussy O’Reilly (O’Reilly) and Vapolicella (Red Ransom), dam of stakes winners Vavasour (Redoute’s Choice) and Vilanova (Commands).
Carnegie (Sadler’s Wells), sire of Saracino’s second dam Coupon, brings further class and quality to the pedigree of the 2016 Danehill Stakes winner.
Carnegie in France won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr 1, 2400m) and the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Gr 1, 2400m) and from his seasons at stud in New Zealand left Australian Group One winners Amalfi, Carnegie Express, Perlin, Tuesday Joy and Vision And Power.
By record breaking sire Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer), Carnegie is out of Detroit (Riverman), like her son, a winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
O’Reilly (Last Tycoon), the maternal grandsire of Saracino, has been one of the real success stories of New Zealand’s breeding industry over the past 20 years.The former Waikato Stud sire died in December, 2014 leaving 84 stakes winners and is now further exerting his influence as a broodmare sire.
This son of brilliant Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) and Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winning filly Courtza (Pompeii Court) has three of his best racing sons, Alamosa, Sacred Falls and Shamexpress, standing at stud in New Zealand this season so there may be much more to tell in the O’Reilly story in the next decade.