Mixed showings from Saracino in recent jump-outs at Flemington have his new trainer Mike Moroney unsure exactly what to expect from the multiple Group winner in his first start for the stable.
Formerly trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman in New Zealand, last year’s Danehill Stakes winner resumes in Saturday’s Group Three The Heath (1100m) at Caulfield.
Saracino did not go back to New Zealand after he ran sixth in the Group Two Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) at Randwick in April.
He spelled in Sydney before entering Moroney’s Sydney stable and then later travelled down to his Melbourne base.
Saracino won a jump-out at Flemington earlier this month but didn’t perform to expectations in a second last Friday.
“His first jump-out was good but then his second one was pretty ordinary,” Moroney said.
“So we’re going into it without really knowing what he’s going to do.
“He has worked well but that second jump-out was just a bit below par. We couldn’t find any reason for it.”
Moroney said he might have had an off day as that was the only time the horse had put a foot wrong since joining the stable.
“In the spring he was a Group Three sort of horse, and that’s about where he’s at,” Moroney said.
“He would need to improve a bit to be up to the better sprinters I would think.
“But we’ll see how we go.”
Saracino is still an entire and is raced by Lib Petagna who has had a long association with Moroney.
“I’ve trained for Lib for about 25 years and Lib left him here with the idea that he really wanted to get a bit more black-type here in Australia,” Moroney said.
Saracino’s three wins from 13 starts have all been in Group Two races, with two of those in New Zealand while he has been placed twice at Group One level in New Zealand.