First-up disappointment Fabrizio has confirmed what Gai Waterhouse had known for more than a week in the lead-up to the Hawkesbury Gold Cup.
After he finished down the course when he resumed from a spell at Randwick, Waterhouse and her co-trainer Adrian Bott took the precaution of giving Fabrizio a barrier trial earlier in the week.
“I thought last week he was just starting to hit his hopples but I decided to trial him on Monday,” Waterhouse said.
“The way he went I thought he had his name written all over this race.”
Waterhouse broke a minor drought in the $200,000 Group Three event, winning it for the first time since Beauty Watch scored in 2006.
Usually the Hawkesbury Cup winner heads to the Scone Cup as one of the favourites to make it back-to-back Cups, but Waterhouse is happy to take a departure from that route.
Instead, she will step Fabrizio up in distance and the five-year-old will contest the Chairman’s Handicap over 2000m at Doomben next month.
But whether the front-running gelding can go any further is something Waterhouse is reluctant to try at this stage of Fabrizio’s career.
“The Brisbane Cup is over a mile and a half but it’s nearly always impossible to beat the kiwis,” she said.
Sent out an $11 chance with William Hill, Fabrizio took up the running for Jason Collett and won decisively despite being heavily challenged at the 300m.
Fabrizio had a length in hand over Godolphin’s Moher ($11) with Testashadow ($18) a short half-head away third.
Collett said there was never a moment’s doubt about Fabrizio winning.
“He gave me a real good feel from the start and I thought ‘oh I might want to take a bit of a hold here,'” Collett said.
“But he was still pretty tough there. I sort of went for him after the furlong and he really dug deep.”