Makybe Racing’s Tony Santic has every reason to believe his regally-bred colt Il Cavallo has the makings of a successful stallion.
Il Cavallo (3c Choisir – Gold Chant by El Moxie) looked the part winning a heat of the A R Creswick Series (1000m) by more than four lengths at Flemington on Saturday. The Peter Moody trained sprinter is a three-quarter brother to dual-hemisphere champion Starspangledbanner.
Santic catalogued Il Cavallo for the 2012 Inglis Easter yearling sale but took him back home to Gnarwarre when bidding failed to reach a $250,000 reserve. A record-breaking Sandown winner on debut in March 2013, he returned for a spring campaign and nearly netted some minor black-type when a close fourth in the LR Vain Stakes at Caulfield.
Il Cavallo has rebounded off a 33 week spell with a running double at Sandown Hillside and Flemington this month. “He’s talented but had problems rating himself early on,” jockey Luke Nolen said. “Tony has been patient and they’re going to knock off some nice races.”
Stable foreman Zac I’Anson reiterated those comments after Nolen weighed in. “The Sandown win was a real confidence-builder,” he explained. “Peter has a really high opinion of this horse and will find a nice race to help launch his career as a stallion.”
Starspangledbanner (Choisir) was also bred by Santic and was a Group 1 winning sprinter-miler in Australia and England. Sold to Coolmore Stud, he encountered fertility issues which scuttled what would have been a lucrative shuttle career.
That’s been borne out in England with 3 first-crop winners from just 5 starters so far this year.
Starspangledbanner was subsequently transferred to stand at Rosemont Stud where his fertility has improved under careful management. He was foaled and raised at the Gnarwarre property when it was part of the Makybe complex.