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Trainer Sounds Note Of Caution About Well-Bred Ronchi
Co-trainer Allan Peard believes progressive galloper Ronchi will be slightly vulnerable when he steps out at Te Rapa tomorrow, reports NZ Racing Desk. "It's five weeks between runs and he's a gross type of horse," he said. "He's got to carry a bit of weight, but he should probably still win." Ronchi's excellent form this preparation has seen him rise to the top of the handicap and he will have to shoulder 60kg in the Lodge City Rentals 1600, although he is opposed by a field of moderate quality. The 4YO opened his campaign with a defeat of the subsequent Gr3 Taranaki Breeders' Stakes winner Underthemoonlight. A minor placing followed before further open handicap success at Ellerslie. Ronchi's last appearance resulted in a runner-up finish in the Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes behind Coldplay, winner of last weekend's Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes. "We're happy with him and he'll go on to the Rich Hill Mile after this race," said Peard, who trains the son of Stravinsky with Bruce Wallace. "He'll then run in the Herbie Dyke Stakes [Gr1] or the Thorndon Mile [Gr1] – it will be one or the other." The beautifully bred Ronchi is by Stravinsky out of the Sadler's Wells mare Rose Of Tralee, making him a full brother to champion filly Serenade Rose. Serenade Rose, who was joint top filly on the 2005-06 Australasian 3YO Classification, won 8 of her 19 starts for over $1.7 million in prize money. During the spring of 2005 and autumn of 2006 she proved the dominant staying filly in Australia winning three races at Gr1 level, namely the VRC Oaks, Australian Oaks, and Arrowfield Stud Stakes.