Feb 06, 2018
"It looked a nice race for him," said Mick Kent of Sunday's Sale Quality, a race with a long history of being won by classy performers - such as our very own Leodoro who was at his brilliant best swamping his rivals in the 1205m feature.
Taking his usual position at the rear, the tough and consistent six-year-old was patiently handled by Beau Mertens who had the gelding edging closer from before the turn - keeping in mind that favourite Stellar Collision was closer to the pace.
Widest into the straight, Leodoro looked to have the job ahead once straightening with Stellar Collision giving a kick and looking hard to run down. But he was not to be denied, really stretching out over the final stages and putting his nose out where it counted.
"There was not a lot of speed in the race and the favourite was always going to get the drop on him," Kent said, "so the plan was to get him moving early so that when that happened he was not too far away."
"He had been racing so well without much luck," he continued, noting that Leodoro had just kept recording the fastest final sectionals when running on strongly at previous outings.
"He has always been consistent."
Leodoro had also been in at Caulfield on Saturday but had drawn out wide - "it is such a tricky track from those barriers," Kent said, "whereas as Sale is a good fair track."
Mertens was delighted to continue his winning form for the stable away from his apprenticeship - "Mick is still supporting me with some nice horses so it is good to get a winner for him."
"I was a bit worried about the pace," he admitted, "but the horse travelled really sweetly. It was a concern when Stellar Collision kicked as Weir's always seem to find another gear but he really dug deep, it was a good win."
It was win number seven from 25 starts for Leodoro, taking his prize money tally to beyond $220,000.
He has been a wonderful horse for connections; the Zito, Cichello and Button families who also bred him whilst Ralph and Peta Zito also bred and raced his stakes placed five times winning sire Jayemzed who is a rather special horse having been named after the couple's late son.
Leodoro's family (one that also produced the stable's spring Group Three winner Quilate) is one that descends from the influential Klairessa, dam of Eight Carat. His two times winning dam White Gold by Eight Carat's son Colombia is also dam of the exciting Tasmanian Mystic Journey who is aiming to make it three from three when contesting Sunday's Elwick Stakes.