Swettenham Stud has jumped the blocks with its two year-olds this season.
The Victorian nursery has earned black-type twice in the first two juvenile events of the season in Melbourne.
First-season Master of Design filly Kinetic Design was runner-up in the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m) at Flemington last Sunday and Equiano colt Valliano was placed in the Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Swettenham sold Valliano for $60,000 at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale. He’s the first foal to race from Miss Valley Road (Elusive Quality), a winning sister to Flemington Group 2 performer Viking Turf Belle.
Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig was keen on his chances despite a $31 starting quote. “He’s a forward colt and has done everything right since we broke him in.”
Valliano was beaten less than length but had excuses behind Missrock at Caulfield. “He ran very well and had no luck,” jockey Dwayne Dunn admitted. “He should almost have won.”
Equiano (Fr) sired his 7th first-crop winner from Swettenham when Orvassa landed her maiden at Echuca last week. The three year-old filly is trained by Jason Warren for owner Steve Watkins.
Orvassa is being set for the $130,000 Inglis 3YO Trophy (1400m) at Sale on October 25.
“She didn’t let us down with a tough win at Echuca and I think she’s in for a good spring,” Warren predicted. “She was a stunning yearling – Steve and I were both very keen – but I put my hands in my pocket when the bidding went north of $100k.
“That’s when Steve took over. He was determined to have her and went bid-for-bid finally getting her for $160k.
“She showed ability last prep but didn’t quite put it together on race day. She’s gone to a new level this preparation and has come back a much better race filly.
“A win at Sale will go a long way to paying off her price tag!”