Article by Matthew Toogood
Dual Stradbroke winner Black Piranha and boom galloper Rothesay impressed in barrier trials on Tuesday and are set to clash first-up in the Theo Marks Stakes.
Black Piranha’s half-length win in a 1030m heat was the gelding’s second trial win, while trainer Gerald Ryan declared Rothesay ready to head to the races on the back of his three-quarter length victory over the same distance.
The Rosehill session also featured Sydney’s first official two-year-old trial of the season, taken out by the David Payne-trained Snippets Of Glory.
Ryan said a spring path was mapped out for Rothesay during his recent spell and so far everything had gone to plan leading into the Theo Marks (1400m) at Rosehill on September 11.
Rothesay displayed his talent during the Brisbane winter carnival with a 2-1/4-length win in the Group Three Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) followed by a 3-1/4-length win in the Group Two Queensland Guineas (1600m).
“He’s stronger, he’s bigger and he’s more forward than what he’s been at this stage of any of his previous preparations,” Ryan said.
“I sat down last week and watched the replays of his two wins in Queensland and he was impressive doing that, but looking at it I reckon he still needs to improve to measure right up.
“In saying that I think he has improved.”
Rothesay is scheduled to progress to the Group One George Main Stakes 2010 (1600m) at Randwick second-up and then the Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield, meaning a start in the Epsom Handicap is unlikely for the four-year-old.
Trainer Con Karakatsanis said Black Piranha had returned even better than anticipated but the seven-year-old was still without a jockey for his Theo Marks return.
Nash Rawiller rode him to victory in this year’s Stradbroke and has been aboard in both trials but is suspended for the Theo Marks meeting.
“Nash (Rawiller) was rapt with him this morning,” Karakatsanis said.
“He spelled well, really strengthened up and mentally he’s right there which is half the battle with older horses.
“If they don’t want to be there they won’t race well, but he was rapt to be here (at the trials) this morning.”
Meanwhile, the Kim Waugh-trained Kimillsy continued her comeback with a 1-1/4-length win in an 800m barrier trial at Newcastle on Tuesday.
It was the five-year-old mare’s second trial but a return race has yet to be determined.
Kimillsy hasn’t raced since finishing 11th in the Group One VRC Oaks in November 2008.
Earlier that preparation Kimillsy was placed in the Group One Flight Stakes and Group Two Tea Rose Stakes.