Racing: Ugo Foscolo breaks his rivals' hearts

By Mike Dillon

A delighted Michael Coleman enjoys the 2000 Guineas win of Ugo Foscolo at Riccarton on Saturday. Photo / Trish Dunell
A delighted Michael Coleman enjoys the 2000 Guineas win of Ugo Foscolo at Riccarton on Saturday. Photo / Trish Dunell

Don't tell Stephen Marsh Ugo Foscolo has reached career peak form.

The colt might have thrashed Saturday's $400,000 Sothys 2000 Guineas line-up, but his Cambridge trainer believes the best is yet to come.

But it will be a while coming. Ugo Foscolo will now be spelled and aimed at an autumn programme, ending almost certainly in Australia.

"He is still a long way from being fully developed," Marsh said yesterday. "He's still got to come up behind and he looks like he's starting to go through a growth spurt.

"He's big and raw and still developing."

Which should see a remarkably talented autumn 3-year-old. The colt won on Saturday because of a remarkably high cruising speed out in front.

It's how Sunline won a large percentage of her races. The advantage of such cruising speed is that it takes many of the other horses out of their comfort zones and often being niggled at to keep up.

You could see that happening on Saturday.

Michael Coleman managed to get a decent spurt of power from Ugo Foscolo soon after rounding the home turn and it was game over at the 300m.

Ugo Foscolo had previously been looked upon as a speed horse and as that probably not the ideal type to take to Australia. But he proved with this win he will be very effective at 1600m, which will give him many more Australian options.

"I'm not saying he will eventually race well at 2000m, but when he is fully strengthened up, he will run a big 1600m.

"Bruce [Perry] and I will sit down and map out a programme for him next campaign. I believe he's a better horse left-handed so we'll be looking for something in Melbourne."

Outside Saville Row finished strongly into second ahead of Heroic Valour. Opie Bosson travelled from Hong Kong to ride Jon Snow, who was caught three wide in midfield from an outside gate and was a beaten horse at the 500m.

It was not a happy result for Ruakaka co-trainers Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs.

They produced the favourite, Mongolian Falcon, who faded to sixth and pulled up sore and Wyndspelle, who was not in much better shape after finishing fifth.

"Mongolian Falcon has a swelling on a knee. We gave him flexation tests and he didn't like it - he was not a happy camper. He almost certainly found the track too hard. Leith Innes said at the 600m he couldn't have been happier, but when he asked him to sprint he said there was no response. He just wouldn't let down.

"Wyndspelle was the same, he was never happy on the firm track," said Logan.

Both horses began their trip back north early yesterday and were at the Bulls depot mid-afternoon.

"They will go to Cambridge early tomorrow and both will go through a barrage of tests.

"They will be spelled regardless of what those tests show."

Best to come

Ebullient trainer Stephen Marsh says 2000 Guineas winner Ugo Foscolo has plenty of upside.

The Cambridge colt led all the way and had his rivals off the nickel in the home straight.

Ruakaka stablemates Mongolian Falcon and Wyndspelle failed to handle the firm track.

- NZ Herald

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