Promising two-year-old Alfa Oro will be looking to make it two from two tomorrow for trainer Matt Laurie when he lines up in the Ladbrokes Back Yourself Handicap (1300m) at Sandown.
The Bachelor Duke gelding won impressively on debut by six lengths, indicating he could be one to watch in the spring.
“I have been excited to get him to the races,” Laurie said. “He has been a two-year-old that I have been impressed by and I was looking forward to seeing what he could do.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting him to perform quite that well. He was pretty dominant, he was probably well placed, but he ran a very fast time and just looked very professional doing it.
“It is going to be interesting watching him tomorrow at Sandown.”
Laurie has been happy with Alfa Oro’s work since and has continued to show he has a lot of ability.
“He worked with an older horse on Saturday and she is a city winner herself and won a few dollars and he was able to camp off her and work over the top comfortably enough. The signs are there that he’s a decent horse,” he said.
“Tomorrow I’m not too sure whether we end up leading. It’s not necessarily what I want, but there doesn’t seem to be much speed in the race. If that’s the case, I’ll just let Ben (Melham, jockey) sum it up.
“I wouldn’t swap him for anything, he’s a pretty decent horse and hopefully he does win.”
Laurie went to $240,000 to secure Alfa Oro from the draft of Regal Farm at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale last year and he is starting to fulfil the promise his trainer saw in him less than ten months ago.
“I didn’t want to pay that much, but I really liked the horse,” Laurie said. “I thought he had a lot of Fastnet Rock about him. He’s out of Fastnet Lady, a Fastnet Rock mare, and he just had the right shape and physique that I look for and I thought he breezed up in a manner where he looked like he had a fair bit left under the hood.
“That crossed with a mare who has already produced a decent horse by Domesday (dual stakes winner Five to Midnight). I don’t know much about Bachelor Duke, but it didn’t concern me because she looked like she had done a pretty good job already.”
Alfa Oro will head for a quick break after tomorrow, with Laurie eyeing a Guineas path in the spring for his rising three-year-old.
“We’ll just back off him a bit,” Laurie said. “It’s quite late in the season, ideally you’d like to give them a little bit longer to freshen-up leading into some decent stakes racing.
“But it is what it is and we’ll probably give him a light break for 10 to 14 days and then work it out from there. But at this stage you could look towards those races leading into a Guineas.”
Alfa Oro was bred by The Oaks Stud.
– NZ Racing Desk.