On The Watch

Palentino Produces Surprisingly Fast Sprint In Winning Makybe Diva Stakes

The Australian Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) winner over the same course in March, Palentino is not noted for high finishing speed but the Darren Weir-trained four-year-old showed a marvellous turn of foot to defeat his more favoured stablemate Black Heart Bart (Blackfriars) by a length.

Having his third run this preparation, Palentino started a $9.00 chance and he settled back in ninth place on the rails behind a steady tempo. He took a split at the 300 metres and then finished too well to score quite impressively.

Clocked from the 1000 metres point, Palentino returned 200 metre sections of 12.17, 12.14, 11.67, 11.06, 10.86 and 11.69 for a final 1000m metre time of 1:09.58 on the Soft5 track.

But the feature of those times was Palentino’s sprint from the 600 metres that saw him clock a fast 21.92 (from the 600m to the 200m) with his final 600 metres in a very smart 33.61.

Black Heart Bart had enjoyed a good trip but he did have some excuses in finding the lead a little too soon in the straight, but nevertheless Palentino proved superior on the day, and at weight-for-age, he only concede half a kilogram to his far more experienced stablemate.

Of the others behind Palentino, the Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) winner Prince Of Penzance (Pentire) and the ATC Australian Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Sofia Rosa (Makfi) impressed on the watch.

Prince Of Penzance, having his second run back, ran on well from second last in the 13-horse field to finish sixth and clocked 45.58 for his last 800 metres, 33.96 for his last 600 metres with his final 400 metres in 22.86.

Sofia Rosa remained in last place to the home turn and kept making ground, wide-out on the track to finish ninth, also at her second run since resuming.

She was timed to run her final 800 metres in 45.59, last 600 metres in 34.03 with her last 400 metres in 22.93 also looking set for a good preparation.

In the Group One feature at Rosehill on Saturday, the Godolphin-raced colt Astern (Medaglia d’Oro) came with a brilliant finishing burst to take out the Golden Rose Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) with a highly impressive victory.

Astern was ridden quietly by James McDonald from barrier 12 and settled well back in tenth place before switching deepest of all on straightening.

He then produced an exceptional sprint from the 400 metre mark, clocking a very fast 10.87 before racing away to score easily by two and quarter lengths, clocking 11.29 for his final 200 metres.

Astern’s closing sectional times were all impressive, with his final 1000 metres in 57.92, last 800 metres in 45.63, last 600 metres 33.74 with his last 400 metres in 22.16.

He is a quality colt, now winning five of his six starts as he now heads to Melbourne with his main mission being the Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) on 8 October.

The runner-up Omei Sword (High Chaparral) also did very well on the watch, clocking 46.20 for her last 800 metres, 34.26 (last 600m) and 22.64 for her final 400 metres.

She looks a classy filly and she will now head to the Flight Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) at Randwick on 1 October with strong credentials.

The fourth-placed Divine Prophet (Choisir) also caught the eye in coming from back in 12th place at the home turn to be beaten just under three lengths.

Divine Prophet was timed to run his last 800 metres in 45.86, last 600 metres in 34.04 with his final 400 metres in 22.53 and he too is expected to progress to the Caulfield Guineas with sound claims for another encounter with Astern.

Another promising three-year-old likely to be aimed at the same Group One race is the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained colt Saracino (Per Incanto) who made an impressive Australian debut by taking out the Danehill Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) at Flemington.

Having only his fifth race start, Saracino travelled close to the pace before going to a clear lead at the 400 metres. He then kept fighting back gamely when challenged to score a very smart win, defeating Godolphin’s Archives (Helmet) by a long neck in the time of 1:09.80.

But it was Saracino’s sectional times that were really noteworthy with his last 1000 metres in 55.93, last 800 metres in 44.98, last 600 metres in 34.13 with his last 400 metres in 23.39.

Both the third-placed Samara Dancer (Hinchinbrook), who ran on really well at her first run back, and Wazzenme (Wanted), a late-closing fourth, also did well on the watch.

Samara Dancer clocked 55.89 (last 1000 metres), 45.04 (last 800 metres), 34.17 (last 600m), 23.43 (last 400m) with Wazzenme being timed to run 55.75 (last 1000 metres), 44.93 (last 800 metres), 34.06 (last 600 metres) and 23.32 (last 400 metres).

While some of the fastest closing sectional times of the day were recorded by the Lindsay Park-trained four-year-old Faatinah (Nicconi) who resumed after a good South Australian campaign to take out the Bobbie Lewis Quality (Gr 2, 1200m).

After racing close to the lead, Faatinah went clear at the 400 metres and then went on to score by almost two lengths from Tivaci (High Chaparral) in a time of 1:09.13.

Faatinah clocked a fast 55.51 (last 1000 metres), 44.96 (last 800 metres), 34.22 (last 600 metres) and 23.65 for his final 400 metres.

However, the fastest final 1000 metre time (55.09) and fastest final 800 metre time (44.62) of the race was was recorded by the third-placed We’ve Got This (Hard Spun) in running on from last in the 12-horse field.

But credit is due the Group One-winning top weight Under The Louvre (Excellent Art), conceding five kilograms to the placegetters, again showed his quality in finishing on gamely for fourth, clocking 55.41 (last 1000m), 44.84 (last 800m) and 34.06 for his last 600 metres.