Scallopini returning to scale after winning the Listed Channel 7 Hinkler Handicap at Doomben (Trackside Photography)
Three hundred metres from home in Saturday’s Listed Channel 7 Hinkler Handicap over 1110m at Doomben, Proven Thoroughbreds’ Jamie Walter, was probably thinking about the age-old axiom of not needing to be dead to be stiff.
Proven’s Scallopini, carrying the expectations of some 20 owners, was held up for a run in the straight and you could have gotten decent odds about the 5YO finishing in the top three.
Just over an hour earlier Scallopini’s stablemate, Gotta Kiss, was sent around a $2.25 favourite for the Listed Bill Carter Stakes, over the same trip, but she too lost quite a bit of momentum in the straight before finishing a half length third.
However, Scallopini wasn’t to be denied and, once he’d found clear running, flew over the final furlong to haul in Boomtown Lass by a whisker, notching up his second black type victory.
With nine wins and eight placings from 21 outings for $446,325 in stakes, Scallopini has – according to Walter – his best days ahead of him.
The Hinkler was Scallopini’s first run since capturing the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup in January: a consolation after being seriously hindered in the $1 million Magic Millions Sprint earlier that month. That was one of only four unplaced runs for the Snitzel gelding.
A familiar figure at major sales, due in part to his pith helmet, Walter is regarded widely as an astute judge with his ‘Proven’ horses such as Sir Moments (6 stakes races including the Group Two Queensland Guineas), multiple Group Two winner Tremec, Group Two winner, Sesar and stakes winner, Candika, backing up the assessment. With a lifetime involvement in thoroughbreds – his late brother Guy trained the winners of 36 Group Ones including Tie The Knot – Walter established Proven Thoroughbreds 20 years ago, but clearly has a soft spot for Scallopini.
“He was offered (by Yarraman Park Stud) on the Sunday afternoon – the second book – of the 2016 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale and we picked him up for $200,000,” Walter recalls. “Although that wasn’t big money for a Snitzel, Scallopini was a really nice type and appeared to have much more scope than a lot of his sire’s yearlings.
“Scallopini had a few minor issues which restricted his racing early on, but it’s actually been a blessing in disguise. A lot of the Snitzels are considered to be more precocious types but then you get horses like Redzel ($16.4 million in stakes) and Scallopini who tend to thrive as older horses.”
The Steve O’Dea trained, Scallopini, is next likely to appear in the Listed Dalrello Stakes over 1200m at Eagle Farm on 13 June, but Walter is casting an eye further afield.
“Scallopini is a rising 6YO, but to my mind he just keeps improving,” Walter muses. “Admittedly, coronavirus has played havoc with the Brisbane winter carnival, but such is the situation with Queensland racing that it is unlikely he’ll have to travel interstate.
“We’ll be aiming to target him again at either the Magic Millions Sprint (1200m) or the ($1 million) Magic Millions Cup over the 1400m at the Gold Coast in January and keep our fingers crossed that he has much better luck next time around!”
Scallopini is the first foal – and only winner to date – by the More Than Ready mare, Rose of Mulan, in turn the daughter of Lady Mulan, winner of the Group Two Light Fingers Stakes, Group Three Adrian Knox and three times Group One placed.
Proven Thoroughbreds also purchased Scallopini’s unraced Rubick half sister – in conjunction with O’Dea – for just $35,000 at the 2019 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
Rose of Mulan’s owner, Steve Gillard, wisely decided to retain a share in Scallopini after the then colt went through the ring.