Paul Richards won’t let Natuzzi’s outstanding Newmarket Handicap win change his mind about contesting the Railway Stakes next week.
The listed 1200-metre race at Ellerslie is a traditional lead-up to the Railway (1200m) on the same track on New Year’s Day, but Richards says he will bypass the race in favour of another Group One, the Telegraph Handicap at Trentham on January 17.
“He won’t run. He’ll concentrate on the Telegraph. That’s the main aim,” he told Trackside television.
Jockey Chris Johnson settled the topweight near the rear but threaded his way through the field in the straight to beat Trepidation by a neck.
“Halfway down I thought he left it too late, but that’s Chris you know. He knows how to do it,” Richards said.
“When saved for the last run like that he does have a phenomenal turn of foot.”
Natuzzi was Richards’ first race runner since moving from his long-time Otago base to Byerley Park in south Auckland.