Ugo Foscolo took effortless strides toward his return to serious competition on Monday morning with a runaway trial win at Warwick Farm.
The Group I New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner went straight to the front and, after dashing clear before the turn, he coasted home by seven lengths with little encouragement from rider Josh Parr. "It wasn't as hot a field as it was for his first trial when he ran fifth behind the likes of English, Terravista and Astern, but he wasn't asked for anything then," said Jonathan Scully, who manages part-owner Kevin Hickman's Valachi Downs operation at Matamata. "He put a few lengths on them today and he looked pretty good in doing it." The high-class son of Zacinto is scheduled to make his Australian debut for new trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott in the Gr.1 Canterbury Stakes at Randwick on Saturday week. "I've spoken to Gai and Adrian and they said he could be a bit vulnerable over 1300 metres, that's not his pet distance, but he'll be at his best third-up for the Doncaster. Everyone is very pleased with the horse. "We're looking forward to March 4 with Savile Row in the Derby here as well." Ugo Foscolo is likely to run in the $A1 million Gr.1 George Ryder Stakes over 1500 metres at Rosehill on March 18 with two weeks then to the $A3 million Gr.1 Doncaster Handicap at Randwick. Previously trained by Stephen Marsh, the three-year-old successfully resumed this season at Hastings before finishing sixth in the Gr.2 Hawke's Bay Guineas. He returned to winning form in the Gr.2 Sarten Memorial ahead of his impressive victory in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas in November. Hickman and Todd Bawden, of Hamilton, shared in the ownership of Ugo Foscolo before they bought out their former partners following the classic win at Riccarton.