Saracino a Winterbottom Stakes Casualty


A bid for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes has been dealt a crushing blow for the Gangemi stable with their recent recruit Saracino ruled out of the Ascot carnival because of illness.

The five-year-old was sent for scans after he ran a poor ninth in last Saturday’s Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m) at Ascot, his first official outing in Perth.

“He’s got severe ulcers,” said Michael Gangemi.

“Vets said it was one of the worst cases they had seen.

“It’s not the end of the world, but we will go back and start again.

“We will have him on stronger medication, but the Winterbottom Stakes is out.

“At least we know what we are dealing with and it’s nothing mentally wrong with the horse.

“It’s disappointing because he has a very bright future.

“The work he was doing at home was similar to what Rocky (Rock Magic) and Battle Hero were doing.

“He will be back bigger and stronger in about six weeks.”

Saracino came to the Gangemi stable and a group of their clients for a modest price early this year.

The Per Incanto gelding won three Group 2 races including the Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington, but came to Gangemi and a group of their clients for a modest price after his form slipped over the past 12-month.

Saracino had been backed from $51 to $10 for the Winterbottom Stakes after an eye-catching Lark Hill trial over 950m, stopping the clock at  55.17sec. on October 22.

His illness is another body blow for the Gangemi’s with stable flag bearers Rock Magic and Battler Hero, also out of the Ascot carnival with injury.

However, there was more brighter news after The Fugazi ran a top race behind Moet De Vega at Ascot on Tuesday, beaten a long head for second.

Gangemi said the Sebring gelding, who has one win and two placing from three starts, will aim for next month’s Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m).

And Heart Starter, a Group 3 winner of the Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) two years ago, steps out for the Gangemi’s in a barrier trial on Monday.

Julio Santarelli