Ugo Foscolo (Danielle Johnson) scores at Te Rapa - his first win in almost 18 months.
Ugo Foscolo made a welcome return to form at Te Rapa this afternoon, scoring his first win since the New Zealand 2000 Guineas in November 2016.
The son of Zacinto won five of his first six starts, three at stakes level including the Guineas and the Gr. 2 Sarten Memorial. He then had a luckless stint in Sydney with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, where a series of issues restricted him to just one unplaced start.
Back with his original trainer Stephen Marsh, Ugo Foscolo was disappointing first-up at Matamata in February but trialled well at Avondale at the beginning of this month.
Today’s $35,000 Punters Challenge 5th May 1200 brought Ugo Foscolo back to Te Rapa, where he was unbeaten in two previous appearances, and brought him back to his best as the $3.40 favourite.
Ugo Foscolo took the lead within the first 100 metres of the race, and rider Danielle Johnson had him travelling beautifully in front with his head in his chest.
He kicked away powerfully at the top of the straight, opening up a two or three-length lead, but then started to labour in the rain-affected ground in the last 150 metres. Tomelilla and Go Nicholas got close, but Ugo Foscolo held on by half a length.
Now carrying the colours of Valachi Downs owner Kevin Hickman, Ugo Foscolo has had nine starts for six wins and more than $375,000.
The win completed a double at Te Rapa for Hickman, who also bred and owns the impressive Rating 65 winner Chou Chou.