Archive for the ‘2008-09 Season’ Category

Come-Back Win For Mighty Ronnie

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

After a couple of very unlucky runs, Mighty Ronnie was made favourite for Saturday’s Handicap over 1650 metres at Belmont.

From the off, a good pace was set by King Kool Kat and Black Douglas, so jockey William Pike settled Ronnie mid-field. There was no change in the order until the home turn when William, mindful of the leader-biased track, moved Ronnie to the outside to begin his challenge. At the 200 metre mark there were only three horses in it, and under a brilliant left-hand drive, Mighty Ronnie wore down the pacemakers and won by a comfortable ½ length from Black Douglas.

Peter was particularly pleased with this victory as owner Rocco Dagostino is one of his closest friends, and one of the stable’s longest-standing clients.

It was terrific to see Mighty Ronnie back to his best after a career-threatening injury, and he will now go out for a spell, then prepared for a crack at the Pinjarra and Bunbury Cups in the new season.

Normal Service Is Resumed…

Friday, July 10th, 2009

After an extended overseas trip, we are pleased to announce that your correspondents are now back in harness, and normal service is resumed!

This is traditionally a very quiet time for the stable, with just a few runners at the winter courses, Belmont and Northam, and the main focus has been on breaking-in yearlings and early education of young horses.

We did, however, miss one winner at Northam while we were away, as well as a number of placegetters.

On Thursday 14th May at Northam, the stable’s Not So Secret was well fancied for the Dunnings Caltex Handicap, over 1600 metres.Patiently ridden by Jason Whiting, the 7 year old gelding was settled at the back of the field, but sprinted home impressively from the turn to win by a comfortable 2 lengths from Analogy. This was another of Peter’s training miracles, as the old horse hadn’t won for nearly 2½ years, and had been running without success at Kalgoorlie.

Our better-known horses will shortly be coming back into work after their winter spells, and we look forward to a successful start to the spring season. In the meantime, we will of course report any winners, so don’t go away!

Champion Trainer – Again!

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

A terrific afternoon for the stable was crowned by Peter receiving the Champion Trainer award, for an amazing 12th successive time, at the evening’s end-of-season party. In his acceptance speech Peter thanked the sponsors Dynamic Print, all his owners, jockeys, and in particular paid tribute to the stable team, whose hard work made all this possible.

Each year the racing at Bunbury has become more and more competitive, with many metropolitan horses and trainers now coming down to take on the locals, so for Peter to continue his fantastic record speaks volumes for his talent as a horse trainer, and his ability to get the best out of every horse.

Real Honour won the Bunbury Turf Club Horse of the Year award with 17 points in one of the most exciting competitions for years, with six horses still able to win it on the last day.

Double Wraps Up Bunbury Season

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Go For 2 & 5 sponsored the final race day of the 2008/9 season at Bunbury on Thursday. The stable had five runners, with Jomatesi and Real Honour vying for the Horse of the Year Championship.

In the first race of the day, the Crunch and Sip Maiden over 1200 metres, Viking Lad was trying to build on his very unlucky run last time out. In the early stages of the race jockey Jason Whiting had Viking Lad settled worse than mid-field as Costaquid and Zedrion set the early pace. Jason asked the horse to make up ground on the outside of the field nearing the home turn and then, on straightening, asked him to quicken. Viking Lad responded well and went on to win by an impressive 2 lengths, with the minimum of effort.

There was drama after the race, when the horse spooked at some spectators and dumped Jason. Fortunately no harm was done to horse or rider, but it’s the first time a flying Fish has been seen at Bunbury for a while!

We were delighted with Viking Lad’s win, as the horse has had a series of niggling problems, and his owners have had to be very patient. It was also particularly pleasing for two of the owners, Frank Scullino (seen above) and Jenny Stewart, as this is their first experience of owning a racehorse, and they will never forget the thrill of their very first win.

In the fifth race of the day, the Healthy Food Fast Handicap over 1400 metres, we had two runners – Two Strong Hearts and Not So Secret. The former had no luck in running, but Not So Secret put in a much improved effort to finish a close-up 2nd after being posted wide for much of the race. This was a terrific performance by the 7 year old gelding, as he had been out of form for a long time before joining the stable.

In the feature race of the day, the Go For 2&5 Handicap over 1400 metres, Real Honour (right) had to win the race to have a chance of securing the Horse of the Year title.

As usual Shaun O’Donnell settled the Verglas mare at the rear of the field as I’m A Goodyset a scorching pace up front. Real Honour wasn’t asked for an effort until the 200 metre mark, but she attacked the line in her usual determined fashion to win by a nose from Revy Jay.

Real Honour has been a revelation this prep, and thoroughly deserves her title as Bunbury Horse of the Year. It goes without saying that this was a great training performance by Peter to keep the mare going so long, and credit is also due to Shaun for understanding her funny little ways!

In race 7 Jomatesi was well fancied to win the 2 Fruit & 5 Veg Handicap over 1200 metres, despite equal top weight. William Pike gave the gelding a terrific ride, but they were just overhauled in the last stride by Casanova Jack to lose by a nose. Jomatesi is another horse who has improved dramatically this prep, and his loyal owners have had a ball.

Mainden Win For Two Strong Hearts

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

It was Combined Metal Industries Race Day at Bunbury on Thursday, and the stable had a number of runners.

Key Dynasty ran another honest race in the Combined Metal Industries Handicap over 1675 metres and, despite meeting interference in the closing stages, managed to finish 3rd, beaten only 1½ lengths. The horse has done really well in his short time with the stable, and he will probably have a well-deserved break now. We look forward to Key Dynasty returning to the track in early spring.

Jomatesi has been a revelation this prep, and continues to race generously. He finished a close-up 2nd in the feature race of the day, the E-Vent Handicap over 1200 metres.

The highlight of the day for the stable was the performance of Two Strong Hearts in the Colourbond Steel Maiden over 1420 metres. After his recent 2nd in Albany the 3 year old gelding was fancied in the 13 runner field. Apprentice jockey Talia Maor had a definite race plan before the off, and followed it to the letter. Using Two Strong Hearts‘ good barrier, she had the horse perfectly positioned off the speed behind Don’s Princess and HurricaneKingdom and, as they straightened for home, Talia asked the horse to quicken. Two Strong Hearts sprinted clear of his field to win by an impressive 3 ¼ lengths, to everyone’s delight.

Peter was very pleased with Talia’s ride, and she now has an impressive record for the stable, with two wins and a 2nd from only three rides.

Two Strong Hearts is a full brother to recent Ascot winner Angelic Heart, and owners Elio and Jackie Galante get as much pleasure from seeing one of their home-bred horses succeed as they do from their Group I winners!

Maiden Win For Two Strong Hearts

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Photo by generous permission of Hollands Photographics

Today was one of the highlights of the WA racing season, with the 107th running of the Group II Go For 2&5 Karrakatta Plate. This $500,000 Group II race, over 1200 metres, for 2 year olds, is generally acknowledged to be one of the hardest races of all to win.

The stable’s representative Gold Rocks had won the first two 2 year old races of the year, but on her return after a spell the pundits chose to ignore her early successes and she was unfancied for the big race.

As soon as the barriers opened, the pace was on, as two of the fancied runners Kid Choisir and For Your Eyes Only battled for the lead, with Wolfe Dreams and Gold Rocks in close attendance. Jockey Pat Carbery sat patiently on the filly until well into the home straight before asking her to go and win her race. Gold Rocks responded in scintillating fashion, sprinting past the fading leaders to win by a clear length from the favourite Wolfe Dreams. A measure of her supremacy was that Carbery was able to stand up in the irons in the last 20 metres and salute the crowd – for which he was duly fined, but probably feels it was money well spent!

It was an emotional return to scales for the filly and her owner/breeders Geoff and Heather Nicholls, as this was the culmination of 10 years, and three generations, of breeding. Gold Rocks is from their good home-bred mare Alozie, whose offspring are all winners. Geoff was fulsome in his thanks and praise to Peter and the stable team for the tremendous training feat of getting the filly right on the day. He also mentioned Gray and Jan Williamson of Mungrup Stud, whose stallion Oratorio sired Gold Rocks. They had always told Geoff that the little pocket rocket was going to be a star, even when she was only a weanling.

Peter and the whole stable team were thrilled to win this flagship race, and although Peter has had Group I success, he may well regard the Karrakatta win as a greater training achievement, because everyone in racing knows that getting a 2 year old, particularly a filly, ready for one specific day is an extremely difficult task. The pundits had said before the race that this was one of the strongest Karrakatta fields in 20 years, but Gold Rocks proved that, despite the old saying, a good filly can beat a good colt!

Terrific Treble At Bunbury!

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Bunbury’s last Sunday meeting of the season was sponsored by the Bunbury Mail, and the stable was well represented in the 8 race card.

Key Dynasty, a recent addition to the stable, was drawn wide in the 93% Readership Maiden over 1400 metres. Jockey Clint Harvey settled the horse towards the rear as Quick Stitch and Aqua Storm cut out the early running. Key Dynasty was asked to make up ground on the home turn, which he did easily and, on straightening, quickened up well to win by 1¾ lengths, going away from his field.

This may prove to be another of Peter’s “training miracles”, as the horse had run 21 times without success, and this was only his second start since coming to the stable.

The manner of Key Dynasty’s victory delighted his group of prestigious owners, including All Australian ruckman Dean Cox, Dean’s extended family, and Carlton captain Chris Judd. Managing owner Eddie Michalczyk is Dean’s uncle. The crowd at Bunbury were thrilled to have Dean Cox on course, and as always this likeable footballer gave freely of his time, with photos and autographs for his fans.

The feature race of the day was the Bunbury Mail Trophy over 1400 metres, and we had two runners, Real Honour and Bonny Bonny, with the former well fancied after a 2nd last time out. Radiant Prince set off at a cracking gallop, determined to try and make all, but our horses were well settled further back, just off the pace. Once into the home straight, Bonny Bonny found the company a bit rich, but Real Honour began to make significant progress down the outside of the closely bunched field. Silver Deck took up the lead 100 metres out and looked sure to win, but Shaun O’Donnell got a tremendous run out of Real Honour, and she grabbed the verdict in the last stride by a short half head, to Darren McAullay’s surprise! A great effort by horse and rider, and quick compensation for the mare’s near miss last time.

Sophie Madrigali was happy to receive a beautiful Wedgewood trophy and a kiss from one of the directors of the Bunbury Mail!

In the last race of the day, the Mail Handicap over 1200 metres, Jomatesi was well fancied to win again after his victory last time out. The race was run at a strong pace, and William Pike had his mount well positioned in 3rd place, just behind the speed. Halfway down the home straight Jomatesi was asked for his effort, and the gelding responded in fine style to win by a cosy ¾ length. Jomatesi has really found his mark over the shorter trips, and has struck up a good partnership with William Pike, giving his enthusiastic owners a real thrill.

This rounded up a great day for the Giadresco team, as a treble at our home track is always is always cause for celebration, and hopefully should put the stable well on course for another premiership.

Albany Double!

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

The stable had four runners at Albany today, and all ran well.

First up was Peter’s home-bred mare Isn’t She Gorgeous, who was made favourite for the Morande Designs Maiden over 1200 metres, after the favourite-elect Tiga Romano was withdrawn at the barriers. Jockey Shaun Meeres took full advantage of barrier 2, jumping Isn’t She Gorgeous straight into the lead. The mare settled well for him and, once into the home straight, was kicked clear of her field, and had enough in hand to win by a neck from the fast-finishing Timely Saint. A great ride by Shaun, and a pleasing win for the Giadresco family, who bred and own Isn’t She Gorgeous.

In the second race, the Albany Veterinary Hospital Maiden over 1400 metres, Hartley’s Park was the popular pick after showing consistent form at Bunbury recently. Shaun Meeres adopted different riding tactics this time, settling the gelding towards the rear of the field as Lively Rose set a cracking pace up front. As the field approached the home turn Shaun moved Hartley’s Park to the outside and began a steady run around the field. Halfway down the straight he hit the front and went on to win by a cosy 2¼ lengths from McTease. Full marks to the jockey for another fine ride, and it was great to see the famous Willie Wagtail colours back in the winner’s circle.

Jomatesi and San Salvo ran in the last race of the day, the Wignalls Handicap over 1500 metres. Both horses had their chances to win, but in the end had to settle for 2nd and 6th respectively, behind King’s Tribute.


On Wednesday evening Peter was once again one of the 12 finalists at the prestigious AJ Buswell Sports Star of the Year presentation, sponsored by the South West Times, and held in the Bunbury Shire Offices. The annual event, hosted by Bunbury Mayor David Smith, attracted a large crown of local dignitaries, along with the nominees and their supporters.

This year the nominations were particularly strong, with finalists including a number of Olympians, two AFL footballers, as well as international performers in a number of sports. The overall winner was renowned test cricketer Murray Goodwin, who at present plays in the UK for Sussex.

Peter was delighted to pick up his individual award, as it was a great honour to represent the racing industry in such an illustrious field.

Jomatesi Wins On Cup Day

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

There was a large crowd on course for the highlight of Bunbury’s racing season, the XXXX Gold Cup Day.

Jomatesi was favourite for the Parade Hotel Handicap, over 1200 metres, although he faced a very competitive field. The early pace was set by Circus Pony, who tried to make all, but William Pike, mindful of how the track was playing, settled Jomatesi midfield, and didn’t make a forward move until well into the home straight. The horse responded well to William’s hands and heels ride and took up the running 50 metres from the post, to win by a cosy ½ length.

Jomatesi has been running consistently all season and deserved this win, but much credit must go to William who produced yet another of his brilliant rides.

The stable was unlucky not to have a double, because in the next race, the William Barrett and Son Vase, Real Honour looked sure to win until she decided to try and kick her nearest opponent! Not surprisingly, the mare became unbalanced, and her antics cost her the victory, by a short head. Let’s hope she is on her best behaviour next start!

Golden Bracelet For Core Asset

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Healthway sponsored one of Albany’s big race days today. The feature race was the $22,000 Golden Bracelet Handicap, over 1600 metres, for fillies and mares, and our representative was Core Asset. The mare had been first emergency, and it had been an anxious wait for the owners to see if she made the field.

Core Asset’s good recent form ensured she went off a well backed favourite in the 14 runner field.

The race was run a blistering pace, led by Saramento, who was 6 lengths clear at one point, but jockey Peter Hall positioned Core Asset just behind the leaders in 4th place. On the home turn he moved the mare up to a challenging position as the leaders fell in a hole, and once in the straight Core Asset strode away to win by an easy 3 lengths from Movie World and Upmarket Lady. A deserved win for the mare, who has been in consistent form this prep, and Peter was delighted to win this race again, having previously won it with his great mare Shake Your Bon Bon.