Fastnet Rock Veteran Wins G2 Tauranga Stakes
Irish bred veteran galloper Gino Severini (10g Fastnet Rock x Green Castle, by Indian Ridge) capped off some consistent form of late with a determined performance to take out the Group II Gartshore Tauranga Stakes (1600m) on Saturday in New Zealand.
In the hands of Central Districts rider Chris Dell the 10-year-old son of Fastnet Rock travelled comfortably on the Heavy9 track surface which had started the day as a Slow5 but deteriorated rapidly.
Dell settled the Bruce Wallace and Grant Cooksley-trained runner midfield on the rail before improving through on the inner to take control of proceedings approaching the home turn and he bolted in to win by four lengths.
The Tauranga track has proved a happy hunting ground for the horse as he has never finished out of the money in four starts and registered his last victory in the Group II Japan Trophy (1600m) on a similar track surface back in March 2022.
Cooksley was delighted to welcome the stable favourite back to the winners’ enclosure although he admitted he wasn’t that sure before the race how he would perform in the ground.
“He doesn’t really like it when it is heavy and the only two wins he has had on that type of track have now both been here at Tauranga,” Cooksley said.
“Chris said he just travelled so well all the way and he was pretty confident of a win a long way out.
“He is a pretty remarkable horse and despite his age he is still as keen as ever and enjoying his racing.
“A mile is his pet distance so we will look around for races like that as I think he has a couple more wins in him.
“He goes well at this time of the year and there are some nice options coming up over the next month or so for him.”
Raced by Wallace and members of the Wallace family, Gino Severini has now won eight of his 60 starts and over $527,000 in prizemoney
Irish bred Gino Severini is a half-brother to Group I winner Millisle, the Champion 2YO European Filly of 2019, and stakes-winner Ithoughtitwasover being one of nine winners from terrific producer Green Castle.