Leodoro - A Special Win
Jan 29, 2016
All wins are exciting but some are more emotional, more significant than others - such as that recorded by the promising four-year-old Leodoro at Mornington on Friday.
Having just his third start and his first since the spring, the lightly raced gelding struck heavy going for the first time but relished the challenge, always travelling well off pace for Noel Callow.
Getting a split into the straight, Leodoro quickly took the lead and he was soon clear, his winning margin a soft and impressive length.
Sent out favourite having shown above average ability when finishing in the placings (a tad unlucky both times) at his first two starts, Leodoro came back a more mature horse and we are looking forward to seeing where he goes to from here.
Meanwhile his owners are thoroughly enjoying his first win - a group of long time stable clients led by Ralph & Peta Zito - who also raced the Group Three winner Miss Steele who was so good first up at Moonee Valley last weekend.
The win is a very special one for them as they not only bred Leodoro, but also his sire Jayemzed and his dam White Gold!
Standing the former at David and Trish Cochrane's Bowthorpe Stud in Tasmania, the Zito's cheered that bay onto five wins and a Listed second, dismayed when he broke down - thanking Barrie Howe for overseeing his lengthy recuperation.
Serving only a handful of mares each year, Jayemzed has been doing a good job - to date represented by three winners (and a placegetter) from just five starters.
Jayemzed, a son of Apache Cat's sire Lion Cavern, is one of nine winners (from as many to race) for the unraced Jugah mare Te Akau. Her only foal not to show ability - the unraced Bianconi mare Bianca Bay - showed that she did however inherit her family's talent to pass on - her son Dukedom winner of the Gr.1 Levin Classic in New Zealand just a couple of weeks ago.
Te Akau is a half-sister to the triple Gr.3 winner Steel Phoenix with whom the Zitos enjoyed many a wonderful racing moment whilst another of her half-sisters is the dam of Miss Steele.
The family have also enjoyed racing members of another family, including the stakes placed dual city winner Oronero whose two times winning full sister White Gold is the dam of Leodoro.
Which is how he got his name which roughly translates to golden lion.
So with such a long term connection to both sides of Leodoro's pedigree it is little wonder that he is a special horse for the Zito's, especially as his sire Jayemzed was named in honour of their late son Joel Matthew.
Several other people got a thrill out of Leodoro's victory also, including Danielle Smith who trained the runner-up Shadowbrook Lass. She has sent a couple of her own mares to Jayemzed having strapped him during his racing career - and he was her favourite!
And Barrie Howe was pleased as well, also boasting family connections with his late father Theo training another member of Leodoro's family, the dual Group One winning sprinter/miler King Phoenix.