A big day for Leah Gavranich & Maurice

Genzano & Zac Lloyd take out the $250,000 Newcastle 3YO Spring S. G3 by 1.3 lengths. (PHOTO: Martin King/Sportpix)

Maurice’s 3YO daughter Genzano delivered the first stakes victory for her co-trainer Leah Gavranich in Saturday’s $250,000  Newcastle JC 3YO Spring S. 1600m G3 and it could not have been more appropriate. 

Genzano (ex Infiorata by Dream Ahead) is a grand-daughter of the outstanding sprinter Ortensia, trained by Paul Messara and accompanied by Leah on a remarkable 2011/12 campaign that produced Group 1 victories in Australia, Dubai & England.

Bred and raced by Arrowfield with Ortensia’s owners Alistair Fraser, Emma Ridley & Annie Fraser, Genzano has progressed quickly, from an easy maiden win at Scone on 16 October, to a second success at Newcastle a fortnight ago and now a Group victory at her 5th start.

Paul Messara’s 501 career wins since 2005 were achieved at an impressive strike rate of 22%, but the new partnership has gone to another level with 13 wins (36%) from 36 starts since 13 September. 

Leah said, “Obviously I’ll be forever grateful to Paul. It’s not something I feel like he needed to do, asking me to go into a training partnership.

“Fifteen years ago I started in Western Australia. I came over as a trackwork rider, progressed to foreman, travelling foreman, assistant trainer, co-trainer. It’s been a wonderful journey.” 

Paul added, “I am delighted. It’s great for Leah and great for the team here. It’s pretty exciting, when you trained the mother and you’ve got the grand-daughter, to win a race like this on a big day. She has won a couple in a row now this filly and she is obviously going to go places next preparation. She is only going to get better.”

That wasn’t the only highlight for the stable, or for Maurice on the day. Paul & Leah also sent out 4YO gelding Rematch (Real Impact-Cross Court) to win the $120,000 TAB Highway for Arrowfield’s home stable, while Maurice backed up with his 23rd stakeswinner, 2YO colt Strauss in the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai S. 1800m G2. 

Strauss is a Northern Farm home-bred out of Group 1 winner Blumenblatt (by Sunday Silence’s son Admire Vega). He is Maurice’s 4th juvenile stakeswinner this year, after Azula & Namesake (both out of Redoute’s Choice mares) in Australia, and Danon Ayers Rock (from Fastnet Rock’s top-class daughter Mosheen) in Japan. 

Maurice returns to the Australian yearling marketplace with 30 lots catalogued for Magic Millions 2024.

Genzano is Arrowfield’s 6th graduate stakeswinner this Spring, alongside Autumn Ballet, Autumn Angel, Remarque, Ganbare & Muramasa.

Infiorata has a 2YO colt by Pariah, a yearling filly by Admire Mars and a 2023 colt by Shalaa. She is now in foal to Maurice’s triple Group 1-winning son Hitotsu.

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