A former sale topper in Tasmania, Palentino got his big reward this time around after he was controversially relegated to second at his most recent outing in the Group Three CS Hayes Stakes.
In a driving finish a desperate Mark Zahra was able to get the handsome chestnut Palentino home by a short head to beat the reigning VRC Derby winner Tarzino.
The large group of connections with Palentino then had to go through the drama of a second straight protest, but this time the result stayed with them and the lion’s share of the $750,000 purse was theirs.
“This will be a good party this one,” winning trainer Darren Weir said after the result was confirmed.
“There’s a lot of groups and a lot of syndicates in this horse, not just one owner.”
“I found him in (Tasmania), I’d trained his mother (Palatine Hill) and went over and saw him and loved the horse.”
“He’s certainly a tough horse,” Weir added. “He did it the right way.”
“The genuine speed in the race helped a bit and he just likes room late. He was in for the fight.”
“Obviously the second horse is a great horse so it was good to be able to hold him off,” Weir added.
Weir would see how Palentino pulled up but he didn’t rule out backing up the horse next Saturday in the Australian Cup against more seasoned rivals.
Winning rider Mark Zahra said all credit belonged to Palentino who showed his usual fight, determination and natural ability to score in one of the autumn’s feature races.
“It’s amazing,” Zahra said moments after pulling up. “What can you say. He deserved it. He was so tough today.”
“He was strong. They were there to beat him but he was too good, too strong,” Zahra added.
Palentino was bred in Tasmania by Jenny Watson and sold through her Macleay Thoroughbred Stud draft at the 2014 Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale.
He was the “talk horse” of the sale and topped proceedings when knocked down to Weir for $85,000. Following his Guineas success Palentino’s earnings have raced past $600,000.
At the recent 2016 Tasmanian Yearling Sale young Victorian trainer Matthew Brown was able to secure Palentino’s half sister by Tough Speed for $28,000.
Both are from Palatine Hill, a Moonee Valley winning daughter of Palace Music who is a half sister to stakes winners Rather Grand and Sublimity.
Tarzino, a $60,000 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale purchase for his trainer Mick Price, gave his connections a thrill with his close second placing.
Price said the son of Tavistock was on track for Sydney where he will ultimately run in the Group One AJC Oaks at Randwick.
Breeding: Teofilo-Palatine Hill (Palace Music)
Race: VRC Australian Guineas G1 (1600m)
Sold for: $85,000
Sale: 2014 Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale
Vendor: Macleay Thoroughbred Stud
Buyer: Darren Weir
Owner(s): Boom Rat Racing, Bool Derby Boys, J Cox, Dadoco Racing, Sunday Knight, Don’t Tell Her, M Johnston, S Everett, P Bourk, T Ginnane, G White, Mrs J Collins, M Atchison, J Whiteman, G McNulty, Mrs M McKenzie & Forest Lodge Racing Pty Ltd
Trainer: Darren Weir (Ballarat)