January 1st resets the statistics all the winners and prize money is in the record books and begins again at zero. It’s the time of the year where the turf season is slowly coming into view and most yards are in their pre season preparations. We still have the all-weather going and that is where Giacomo Casanova shed his maiden tag when taking the 5f Ladbrokes Handicap at Newcastle.
The son of Es Que Love had made his debut at the same track back in June and from there slowly began to learn the job. His first couple of runs were on the AW and when switched to turf, Casanova seeped up to 6f in the process. With a fair mark of 62 he ran ok in his first handicap foray, finishing mid-division. Having looked like he may appreciate an extra furlong, he then tried 7f. Failing to stay the trip the handicapper gave him some leeway and in October the then 2 yr old tackled a 6f Nursery of just 56. The colt had shown enough to suggest this mark was beneath him and for much of the 6f at Newcastle it looked like he would prove that. Weakening in the final furlong he went on to finish fourth but Kevin felt that he now knew what trip would suit best.
It was almost three months between runs as Kevin waited for the most suitable 5f handicap. Newcastle again would be the destination as a stiff 5f looked ideal with the 0-65 handicap for 3yo only. On paper it didn’t look the strongest race in the world and could prove a good opportunity for a fresh Casanova. Andrew Mullen was booked for the ride and was looking for a strong gallop to latch on to from the start.
Drawn nearest the stand side rail, Casanova was away well and thankfully was away from the awkward Hanakotoba who jumped severely left leaving the stalls. Despite that start he was quickly pushed forward to take on Global Myth who cut out the early running as the field edged towards the centre of the track. This was perfect for Andrew who tracked the leaders through sitting just over a length off the pace. Global Myth had the overall lead and Casanova was sat in his slipstream throughout the first furlong.
There was no change in the order through the first half of the race and the strong gallop ensured they headed towards the 2f marker in good time. Global Myth had set the fractions throughout and having not seen another rival was set to kick from the front. As the leader wound it up his move was quickly matched form Hanakotoba and those in behind. Moving past the 2f marker the leader’s advantage was narrowing with each stride as the challenges were starting to come. Casanova moved closer with ease and as he got stronger Andrew just had to move into a clearing with the leader seemingly a sitting duck. Hanakotoba took the lead 1 1/2f from home and immediately set sail to secure the race. Once Andrew saw this he reacted by sending Casanova in pursuit. The colt responded well and clawed back the deficit which was around 1 length.
Little was coming form off the pace and as the leader moved into the final furlong only Casanova was in place to challenge. Hot on the heels of the leader, Casanova moved up to lay down his challenge and quickly took over and took charge. As his rival remained at the same pace, Casanova found an extra gear and started to forge clear. The rest were left in his wake and were battling out for the placings. Casanova forged clear, opening up with relative ease. with every stride he moved further clear and took his first career win by a comfortable 2 1/2 lengths.
It was a nice performance form Giacomo Casanova and shows that he may have just found his feet now. Obviously it wasn’t the greatest race and the colt was winning of a lowly mark of 55. He has tried a few different trips and tactics in his races so tis may just be a sign that he has matured now. The winning margin was impressive and there is no reason to think that he couldn’t go on from here. With improvement likely, Casanova will be out again soon and a similar race looks likely to aimed for.