Cranbourne trainer Cindy Alderson has always been a big advocate of Sun Stud stallion Fiorente and has trained four by the Melbourne Cup winning stallion
Three of the four have won races, but Alderson rates emerging three-year-old Liqueuro as by far the best of them as he continues to add to his impressive strike rate with three wins from four starts.
The gelding’s most significant win was in last Saturday’s $135,000 St Ledger Trial (2200m) at Bendigo’s city meeting.
Out of Galileo mare Little Darring, Liqueuro ($6) was well ridden by Jye McNeil.
“He got a little bit keen on me at about the mile mark when one rushed forward around me,” McNeil said after Liqueuro’s victory.
“I was a little bit worried at that stage but he ended up coming back underneath me and really turned it into a staying contest from the 600-metre mark. He seems a nice stayer on the up.
“I think there’s still improvement there with the quick step up in distance so there’ll be no problems getting further in the future as he gets fitter and more seasoned.”
The victory has given Alderson confidence that the gelding is on target for his next start in the $150,000 Listed Galileo Series Final (2400m) at Caulfield on April 10 as the lead-up to the $200,000 Listed VRC Leger at Flemington on April 25 or the South Australian Derby (2500m) on May 8.
Alderson concedes that Caulfield won’t be the right track for Liqueuro as he is a big track horse.
“I have always been keen on the stallion,” Alderson said of Fiorente
“I like them and just think they need time.”
Alderson said that while Liqueuro doesn’t have a lot of speed, he is “very solid as a stayer.”
“Even on Saturday he was there to be beaten because he went away along from home and went from 1600m up to 2200m and was still strong on the line and still going,” she said.
“Obviously he will go to the final and then he either goes to the St Leger or SA Derby – or both. There is a plan in place but if he shows he has had enough or is not able to do it, he won’t be going because he is a nice horse to look forward to.
“I still believe he is probably six to eight months away from being anywhere near his best as he is quite young and immature as this is his first racing preparation.
“Physically he has got some more furnishing to do.”
The other three by Fiorente who Alderson has trained are Infallybelle, Dargo, and Sianna Star.
“Sianna Star was the best looking one and the one I paid the most money for and it was funny because I was tossing up between her and (Group 2 winning) Stars of Carrum, believe it or not,” she said.
“I bought her because I always wanted to be competitive in the staying three-year-old races and I was looking for a filly, so I went against him and went for her.”
Both Stars of Carrum and Sianna Star sold for $75,000 at the 2017 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Liqueuro was bred by South Australian developer Dalibrov Drazetic who offered the then colt at the 2019 Adelaide Yearling Sale, but was passed in for just under the $30,000 reserve and later syndicated by former Cranbourne trainer Robbie Laing.
The horse was transferred to Alderson when Racing Victoria refused to re-licence Laing.
Drazetic retained a share in the horse with prominent South Australian breeder Ralph Satchell, while the other owners are Victorians.
“I am still pinching myself to be quite frank,” Drazetic said.
“I bred him. I had four broodmares and I’m down to two now.”
Drazetic, who is yet to see Liqueuro race live, also bred and part owns Oh Mo (Uncle Mo x Lady Orio) which won the last race on the Morphettville card on Saturday.
“It’s been my best day thus far,” he said.
“From a small handful of mares, I have probably bred half a dozen winners.
“It’s funny but that horse (Liqueuro) had a full sister which I bred and she that couldn’t get out of her own way. It’s a very hard game and it makes you think about spending money on wiser things.”
Drazetic said he’d always liked Fiorente as a stallion and says he was fortunate enough to have backed him when he won the 2013 Melbourne Cup.
He said a guy who was managing his mares had an association with Sun Stud and he’d used Magnus a few times.
“And with this Galileo mare (Little Darring), I thought why not and it would be a genuine type of European pedigree to breed and why couldn’t you breed a stayer in Australia based on the same principles as in Europe,” Drazetic said.
“And with this horse, I’d say the further the better.”
Dalibrov bought Little Darring as a weanling and she was retired after one start and then went to the breeding barn where she had foals to Devaraja and King of Danes before having a filly, Kalliste, by Fiorente, which had two minor placings from five starts. Liqueuro was the mare’s last foal.
“She had a couple earlier on that showed a bit of promise but one bowed a tendon and one had a paddock accident, so she showed something with lesser sires,” he said.
“I’m pretty fortunate with the small group of mares I’ve had that I bought as weanlings and yearlings and have had something out of them 10 years later.”
While Dalibrov will make it to Victoria if Liqueuro runs in the St Leger, he said it’s more than just a thrill to breed and race winners.
“It’s a relief,” he laughed.