Testamezzo has been on track for a stakes win since the start of his career and he got there on Saturday despite a couple of detours along the way.
The Testa Rossa gelding rewarded his connections with a three-quarter length victory over Young Knight and He Or She in the LR Raconteur Stakes (1500m) at Ascot.
The Daniel Pearce trained three year-old is the 51st stakes winner by Vinery sire Testa Rossa.
Testamezzo (3g Testa Rossa – Tremezzo by Encosta de Lago) had won his first three starts before stepping up to the LR Belgravia Stakes in October. “That was a nightmare,” Pearce recalled. “He was out the back and caught three-wide but must have made up 10 lengths to finish right behind the placegetters.”
Regrouping for the summer carnival, Testamezzo won the Magic Millions 3YO Trophy and that left connections with the choice of going east or staying at home.
“There was a Listed race that suited him at Flemington on Australian Cup day,” Pearce said. “It was worth $120,000 but we had the Listed Breeders’ Classic at Bunbury the following day and the prizemoney here was over $100,000.”
In a split decision, Testamezzo was beaten a nose in a three-way photo with Stagnite and Spin Da Wheels. “He over raced at Bunbury. There was no speed and he was getting on their heels.”
It was a case of third time lucky at Listed level in the Raconteur on Saturday. “We couldn’t have planned it any better,” Pearce admitted as Testamezzo returned to scale. “He settled perfectly and Pete (Knuckey) had the drop on the leaders. I knew he would run the 1500 metres right out.”
Testa Rossa’s latest stakes winner was a $60,000 buy at the 2012 Gold Coast Magic Millions and has now banked over $271,750. He was bred by Rob and June Harding and they welcomed another Testa Rossa – Tremezzo colt in September.
“He’s a tough fella and has a big heart,” Pearce claimed. “His dam still holds the 2000 metres track record at Caulfield and we will suss out a nice race for him as a four year-old.”
The Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) looks an ideal target at Ascot’s next summer carnival.