A jumping future is beckoning The Bambino but trainer and part-owner Ben Foote is hoping to score a win on the flat with the gelding before then.
The Rock ‘N’ Pop gelding will make his fifth raceday appearance in the iLine Carpenters 2100 at Tauranga on Saturday where he will try and improve off his last start third placing at Avondale.
“He’s a horse we are getting ready for a jumping future. He has been schooling in-between his races and he just keeps on improving. It is taking a bit of time, but he is getting there,” Foote said.
Foote believes a bright jumping future is instore for the five-year-old, who will likely join Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal’s Hastings barn in the near future.
“He is probably destined for Paul Nelson’s. We think he jumps really well,” Foote said.
“He could possibly have a jumping start at the end of this (jumping) season, otherwise he can wait until next season. He is still an immature horse, so we will just take our time.”
Foote will also line-up in-form mare Musigny Lass in the iLine Waikato 1600.
The Iffraaj four-year-old has had seven starts this preparation for two wins and three placings, and Foote believes she can continue that form this weekend where she will carry 50kg courtesy of apprentice jockey Ace Lawson-Carroll’s four-kilogram claim.
“I have been super happy with her,” he said. “She looks like she is fully matured now, she is loving her races and is holding her condition, it looks like she is putting on condition.
“She keeps finishing off her races strong, so we thought now is the right time to step her up over a mile for the first time.
“With four kilos off her back, carrying 50 kilos, she should certainly put her best foot forward.”
While she has been up since March, Foote said she is thriving with racing and he will continue to press on with the mare over winter.
“The way she is, she is obviously a wet tracker, and we are going to get a fair bit more of that, so until she tells us she has had enough we will keep going,” he said.
Foote took a handful of triallists to Cambridge on Tuesday where Louisiana Man and Whisky Mac won their 950m heats.
“Louisiana Man was a headscratcher last time in,” Foote said. “I thought he would win his last start, so he was expected to win his trial. He won with ease, so we are hoping he puts it all together because he certainly has got the ability.
“He could possibly go to Taupo on the 24th.
“Whisky Mac has got heaps of ability, but he kept going shin sore. He has just taken time to mature, hence the reason we have stuck with him.
“Hopefully he can produce what he has done in his trackwork early on.”
Meanwhile, Foote is being kept busy with 15 juveniles destined for the ready-to-run sales later this year.
“I have got 15 of my own, five will go to Sydney and 10 will go to Karaka,” he said.
“I have had plenty of success at the sales and I love doing it. They are always for sale and I like to sell good ones. Hopefully the success continues.”
More immediately, Foote is looking forward to welcoming home Babylon Berlin and Ruach from their disappointing Queensland Winter Carnival campaigns.
Ruach had just the one start in Brisbane, tailing the field home in the Gr.3 Rough Habit Plate (2143m) for caretaker trainer Tony Pike, while Babylon Berlin finished unplaced in her two starts – the Listed Bright Shadow (1200m) and Gr.2 Moreton Cup (1200m).
Foote said they have thrived spelling in the Sunshine State and he is looking forward to both of their upcoming campaigns.
“They come home on Sunday from Brisbane and they are both in work,” Foote said.
“Babylon Berlin is 550kg so she looks like a beast. I am looking forward to her campaign which will target the Railway (Gr.1, 1200m).
“You will see a bit more of Ruach come the summertime.”