Derby winner kicks off three-start campaign

Pinarello will attempt to deliver Roger James his second win in the Shannon Stakes.

Roger James has successfully plundered some of Sydney's biggest carnival races during his training career and while his spring plans for Queensland Derby winner Pinarello are modest, he hopes to up the ante in the future. 

Best known for his feats with top mare Silent Achiever, who captured the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes-Tancred Stakes double in 2014, James and training partner Robert Wellwood  are back in town, this time with Pinarello

The four-year-old arrived in Australia on Sunday and will resume in Saturday's Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill, a race James won 12 years ago with Firebolt. 

Pinarello came a long way in his first preparation, making his debut in December and progressing to finish fifth in the New Zealand Derby before claiming the Queensland classic at just his seventh start. 

James has resisted the temptation to nominate him for the major staying races this campaign, believing he is still at least six months away from blossoming, and is instead content to chase smaller targets. 

"He is only having three runs in the spring and then we will put him away again," James said. 

"He will probably go to the Craven (Plate) and then the Rosehill Cup. 

"Maturity is the big thing. He's a big, leggy praying mantis type horse and he's still very much getting there really. 

"I think he has the makings of a very handy horse." 

While Pinarello's forte is his stamina, James has kept him fresh for his return in the Shannon Stakes with Sam Clipperton picking up the mount. 

The Tavistock gelding has settled in well since his arrival after doing his groundwork in New Zealand where he was given a quiet barrier trial in preparation for Saturday's race. 

"The only time you are going to get a big, bold run over 1500 is when he's in a fresh state and that's pretty much how he is," James said. 

Pinarello will be James' only Sydney runner this spring, although several stablemates are in contention for a trip to Melbourne. 

While COVID and perhaps a lack of suitable stock has restricted the number of Kiwi raiders in Sydney over the past few years, James is hoping that changes in the near future. 

 "We only bring the good ones across and they're hard to find," he said. 

"If I've got a good one in the team, I always look at Australian programs and say where can I place them? 

"Hopefully I've got a couple going to Melbourne later on for the carnival and hopefully we can be back here with three or four in the autumn."

Sign up for our free newsletter.

© 2022 Sky Racing World. All rights reserved.