Zafisio earns trip to Italy
REPORT: GOODWOOD, Saturday
ZAFISIO earned himself a crack at the Group 1 Gran Criterium at SanSiro when landing a gamble in the 1m Stardom Stakes.
Paul Blockley had no hesitation in nominating the race at San Siro as the Efisio colt's autumn target after he had made the running and rallied gamely when headed by favouriteAnmar in the BlueBay-sponsored Listed race, beating him by a length and a quarter and justifying heavy support from 8-1 down to 9-2.
Blockley, who reckons Zafisio is going to make an even better three-year-old, said: "He's a nice horse and he's gutsy, but he was still a bit green here. He'll go for a Group 1 over a mile in Italy in November. We'd thought about it before the race, and Darryll (Holland) thinks it's a great idea. He's a good judge, and he's won it before."
Holland, who won the race on Pearl Of Love in 2003, said: "We were headed but he really stuck his neck out and is a horse with a lot of potential."
Lesson In Humility was another to take the step up to Listed level in her stride when landing the 6f Starlit Stakes from Asset, who was always struggling on his debut for Godolphin.
After the Karl Burke-trained filly had made all and won by two lengths in the hands of Andrew Elliott, owner Michael Nelmes-Cocker said: "She improves with every race. We were worried about soft ground, but Andy said that we don't need to worry about that again. She travelled so well and had them all off the bridle a long way out."
Nelmes-Crocker breeds in a small way but said: "She's far too good for me to breed from and she'll stay in training. I've waited 25 years for a nice horse and I want to see her race. She should take me to some nice places next year."
The Hughie Morrison-trained 25-1 chance Taikoo took the 1m4f handicap in the colours of recently retired stable star Sakhee's Secret, holding Cleaver by a head. Morrison was delighted to win another race for owner Bridget Swire, but his delight was tempered by a £650 fine for a double declaration.
There was another close finish to the 1m maiden for two-year-olds, in which Aqwaal beat Silver Print a short head, with hot favourite Contretemps a poor last of eight, but South Cape won by clear daylight when repeating last year's win in the opening 7f handicap.
Zafisio showed much improved form for his Listed win and can improve again.