Chris Waller warns Lucicello will get better and better

Lucicello has given trainer Chris Waller plenty to consider after she made a statement at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

The striking grey filly produced a burst of acceleration that is the usual reserve of top quality horses to race away with the ASX Refinitiv Charity Handicap (1200m).

But just how much longer Lucicello continues to race into the new season rests with Waller.

“I don’t want to go too far with her in the spring but there is a nice race for her in two or three weeks’ time,’’ Waller said.

“I think she is a classic, late three-year-old (next season) that will keep getting better and better. She is still immature but she is a pretty smart filly.’’

Lucicello ($3.60 favourite) was back last on the rails in an awkward position on the turn but star jockey Tommy Berry guided her through the pack and the filly powered clear to win by a widening 2¼ lengths from Not Feint Hearted ($9.50) with Belitsa ($5.50) a similar margin away third.

A well-bred rising three-year-old daughter of champion sire I Am Invincible, Lucicello has won successive races after a similar fast-finishing effort at the Kensington track a month ago.

Waller needed to send Lucicello back to the barrier trials between runs after the filly acted up behind the barriers and was a late withdrawal at Rosehill Gardens two weeks ago.

“My staff did a great job with this filly, giving her plenty of barrier practice,’’ Waller said.

“After the experience she has had today, her confidence will go to a whole new level again.

“She had a good day, didn’t get hurt in the barriers and came out to run past them like it was a bit of a game.’’

Lucicello, which loosely translated is “Little Lucy”, is raced by a syndicate that includes Winx’s part-owner Debbie Kepitis.

Berry, wearing Kepitis’s colours of purple, white hoops and black seams, said Lucicello is a filly of considerable potential.

“That was impressive!” Berry said. “She has the ability but it has always been about getting her to use her energy in the right way.

“She was much better in the gates today and was able to win quite comfortably on the line. She has got a future, that’s for sure.’’

Waller decided to scratch boom colt True Detective from the race, preferring to wait another week for a race at Randwick next Saturday.

“I said to the owners after True Detective ran first-up I didn’t really want to run him in two weeks’ time,’’ Waller said. “This is a colt good enough to run in spring and so start him today with topweight from barrier 12 would not have been easy.

“He might have won but at what cost? We can wait a week and go into a race where he should get a lower weight and hopefully he will draw a better barrier.’’ – Ray Thomas, The Daily Telegraph.

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