The New Zealand market can be a minefield at the best of times but it’s been a proven pipeline for Bluegrass Bloodstock (FBAA) agent Lenny Russo.
Bluegrass gallopers Count Da Vinci (Faltaat) nailed the Moe Cup (2050m) last Thursday and Moss ‘N’ Dale (Castledale) landed the LR Sale Cup (1600m) on Sunday.
The country cup winners were both sourced across the Tasman and their combined earnings now total $750,000 in Australia.
They weren’t being pursued by a posse of agents, either. Count Da Vinci had only won a Woodville maiden and Moss ‘N’ Dale was from a mare Russo had raced to restricted wins at Canberra and Wagga.
“I was a bit worried when I found out Count Da Vinci had won once in 18 starts,” trainer Scott Brunton conceded. “But I’ve been tight-lipped ever since he won five in a row in Tassie. And then he gave us a huge thrill with a home-town victory in this year’s Hobart Cup.”
Russo knows the New Zealand scene having worked at Cambridge Stud, TeRunga Farm, Ashwell Farm and Roger James Racing. He bought Count Da Vinci on behalf of WA owner Wayne Notman and next year’s G1 Sydney Cup (3200m) worth $2.15 million is right on the radar.
Moss ‘N’ Dale made up for an unlucky placing in the Seymour Cup with an on-pace victory in the Sale Cup. The Peter Gelagotis-trained galloper has won 10 of his 21 starts and is now due for a well-earned spell.
“We made the decision to back him up after getting home from Seymour,” Gelagotis said. “He pulled up enormous despite having to do all the work on a track that was probably a little too firm.
“Congratulations to Anthony (Darmanin) for a great ride and also to Lenny Russo who put the syndicate together. This horse is my stable favourite. You can do anything with him and every day of the week he gives you the same effort.”
The spring carnival enters rarified territory at Flemington this Saturday and Bluegrass graduate Paseeto will be gunning for a hat-trick following short-priced wins at Morphettville. The Tony McEvoy - Dream Thoroughbreds colt has been nominated for the G3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m).
And Bluegrass millionaire Malaguerra will be the testing material in the G1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday week after an eye-catching third in the G1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) was formed in 1988 to maintain, improve and develop the standards, status and services of bloodstock agents throughout Australia. Its members operate with the utmost integrity and professionalism and are bound by the strict Industry Code of Conduct.