First Australian winner by Gio Ponti

Local trainer Mel Eggleston pulled off a good old-fashioned plunge with Licitra at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

His Gio Ponti (USA) filly firmed from $6 into a $2.60 favourite before an easy, all-the-way win in the Ultimate Tool Distribution Maiden (1100m).  She scored by 3 lengths on debut against all ages for owners Amanda Jupp and Craig Ward.

Licitra is the first Australian winner by Gio Ponti.  The former Arrowfield Stud shuttler got her from Love And Money (Secret Savings) who Eggleston prepared to win 7 races up to Listed level at Eagle Farm.

The stable had also thrown in for a good win when she debuted at Ipswich in May 2004.  She fell in after leading to land an $8 to $3.80 move in markets.

Gio Ponti (Tale of the Cat) earned $6.17 million from Group 1 victories in the Arlington Million, Man o’ War Stakes (2), Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (2), and Manhattan Hcp.  He arrived at Arrowfield in 2012, however, there was only minimal support with just 52 mares covered at a $22,000 (inc gst) fee.

Arrowfield replaced him with Animal Kingdom (USA) in 2013.

Gio Ponti sired 6 individual 2yo winners in North America last year and he holds a Top 10 second-season spot this year with G1 Queens Plate winner Sir Dudley Digges.