Fabulous Fabergino

4
May

It was supposed to be a big test for her and she had a nervous reputation at 1100m.

But that mattered little to Fabergino, who if anyone needed reminding, is a quality thoroughbred.

That reputation was enforced three months back in Melbourne by winning the Bob Hoysted at Flemington, but she doubled down at Ascot on Saturday.

In a breathtaking performance, the exciting grey, prepared by understated trainer, Tiarnna Robertson, turned the Group 3 Northam Mazda Stakes (1100m) into a one-act affair.

The margin of 2 3/4 lengths over Flirtini was immaterial, she could have won by panels more, there is no point burning the five-year-old, there are further roads to travel.

And that path is inexorably leading her to a major race in her home town later in the year, a race that looked questionable before Saturday, but looks possible now.

The 1200m of the Winterbottom Stakes is now firmly in Robertson’s wheel-house, the accepted wisdom Fabergino is only a 1000m horse, is now a bit wobbly.

Robertson has time on her hands to work that out later. For now, it’s the spelling paddock and planning for another venture across the Nullarbor.

A repeat visit to the big stage of Australian racing.  She blew them away in the Hoysted. She is now gunning for the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley in September.

“There was always a question mark as she’s been dubbed just a 1000m horse, so to see her do that against these sort of horses is fantastic,” Robertson said.

“Obviously early on we always hoped that maybe she could get to something like a Winterbottom but she failed going past a 1000 metres.

“But maybe with maturity on her side that there might be other options for her.

“But our goal right now is to get back to Melbourne in the spring and run in a nice 1000 metre race.”

Fabergino had her trusty companion Peter Knuckey back in the Northam Stakes. He needs her more than she needs him, but they gel.

He knows the horse better than anyone, steering her to six of nine wins and is one of four riders to have the privilege of sitting on her.

Knuckey had an pretty easy time as the pre-race hype over the speed battle didn’t eventuate. Knuckey sat behind in second and allowed Mervyn to have his way until the final 200m.

At that marker the race was all over. When Knuckey released the shackles the dashing grey exploded away.

It made comfortable viewing for punters who took the $1.30.

Robertson said Fabergino and Knuckey are perfect partners.

“It was a concern if that horse (Mervyn) was going to take us on and it might sort of play a part in where she finished in the end,” Robertson said.

“We had a lot of confidence in Knuckey’s judgement and as much as we discussed it we knew that he knew what he had underneath him and what was up against him.

“He rode it perfectly and it paid off.”

If needed there was icing on the cake for Robertson and Fabergino’s local and international owners. The $70,800 first prize took overall earnings and bonuses to $506,300.

Her record now stands at an imposing nine wins and two placings from 12 starts.

Julio Santarelliulous