Jockey Jason Waddell and part-owner Harvey Green celebrate Crown Prosecutor’s win in the Gr. 3 Lucia Valentina Wellington Stakes.
Crown Prosecutor carried part-owner Lib Petagna’s colours to a special win in today’s Gr. 3 Lucia Valentina Wellington Stakes at Otaki.
In the same JML Bloodstock colours, Lucia Valentina won this race five years ago. Like Crown Prosecutor, she was trained by Stephen Marsh at Cambridge.
Lucia Valentina was later transferred to Australia, where she won the Gr. 1 Vinery Stud Stakes, Turnbull Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes for more than A$4 million in prize-money. She has now retired to stud, where she has produced a colt by super-sire Snitzel.
“With the race carrying Lucia Valentina’s name, it was amazing to get the win today,” Petagna’s bloodstock manager Bruce Perry told www.theinformant.co.nz. “It’s very special, it means a lot to us and Lib was really excited.”
In contrast to his fast-finishing placings in his previous two starts, Crown Prosecutor was sent to the lead today by rider Jason Waddell. He dictated terms throughout the 1600-metre feature and still had plenty of petrol in the tank when the speed went on.
Camelot colt Swords Drawn had settled in second place throughout the race and went forward to lodge his bid in the straight, with the filly Sentimental Miss flashing home inside him.
But Crown Prosecutor showed plenty of fight, holding both of them at bay and scoring by a neck. Swords Drawn took second by a nose from Sentimental Miss.
“It was a great ride to go straight to the front with the blinkers on today,” Marsh’s racing manager Todd Pollard said. “He’s come out and led and has just kept going. He’s a lovely colt, he’s got a great physique.”
Perry bought Crown Prosecutor for A$50,000 at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne yearling sale. Raced by JML Bloodstock in partnership with Harvey Green’s Huntingdale Lodge, the colt has now had four starts for a win, two placings and $42,625 in prize-money.
“We didn’t think we were going to get him for as low a price as that,” Perry said. “He slipped under the radar a little bit.”
By globally influential sire Medaglia d’Oro, Crown Prosecutor is out of the winning Exceed and Excel mare Riptide.
Crown Prosecutor is nominated for the Gr. 1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on March 2, for which he has shortened from $31 to $18 in the fixed-odds market.
“He’s got the ability, and once he gets into the starting gates he’s very genuine,” Perry said. “The only possible issue with him is that he was quite difficult to handle before the race today. He’s still a colt, and we’ll have a decision to make there.”