A front running ride in the $50,000, Headwater @ Vinery Handicap (1150m) by apprentice Samantha Clenton on Roman Wolf nearly carried the day only to be overrun by a back marker ride by apprentice Robbie Dolan on Lucicello who made it look easy on the Heavy 10 Kensington track at Randwick on Wednesday.
Trainer Gary Portelli had applied blinkers to Roman Wolf (carried 56.5kg) to assist the colt to concentrate on the job at hand and when he did just that Clenton sent him straight to the front from barrier five and they opened a 2L lead by the 600m.
Meanwhile the $2.60 favourite Rotator under Glyn Schofield was back second last giving away vital lengths as the field swung for the turn into the main straight.
Out in front Roman Wolf and Clenton were still 2L in front at the 400m and for another sectional they were maintaining their lead racing near the rails. Rotator and Schofield found no passage through the seven strong field until it was much too late. In contrast wider out Dolan had the Chris Waller trained Lucicello (carried 52kg) in clear air and heading off down the middle of the track to take control.
At the 100m Lucicello was past Roman Wolf and the I Am Invincible filly then went away well for a 2 1/2L win with minimal pressure from Dolan.
Roman Wolf (Deep Field) and Clenton were also well clear of the rest with the margin 1 1/2L to Royal Marine (Uncle Mo) (56kg) and Jason Collett. Rotator was a close fourth.
The time was 1.08.24 on the track which has received 170mm of rain in the last 10 days with the final 600m in 35.64. Lucicello paid $4.20 on fixed odds and $4.00 on the tote.
“She is a filly who has always been held in high regard by the stable, but she has certainly got more than her fair share of quirks in her. So it was obviously the wrong way to ride her last start, we thought that we would just treat this like her first run. She still wanted to fire up a little bit, but Robbie did a fantastic job and she let down hard,” said Charlie Duckworth for the stable.
At Lucicello’s previous start, her second, she was third over 1100m on the same track on June 10th after leading at the 400m. Her first start was in the Group 3 Widden Stakes back in February when she was not placed and the stable set her aside for a short spell.
Dolan’s excellent form continues through the back half of the season with the win his 44th as he maintains 6th place on the Sydney premiership.
Lucicello, out of the Verglas mare Lucciola, races for Debbie Kapitis under her Woppitt Bloodstock banner, Anton Koolman, Archer Racing, Charlotte Inglis, Mr BF Chegwidden, Mrs L A Chegwidden, Mr G J Minahan and Mrs J Minahan. Their filly has now earned stakes of $42,250.
Note - the win was Dolan's 50th Metropolitan winner. As the acceptances for Saturday’s Rosehill Gardens race meeting have already been finalised, Robbie will still be claiming his 2kg allowance at that meeting before his claim is then reduced to 1.5kg.
Headwater @ Vinery Handicap, photo finish picture ATC