No one could deny Ralph Zito the ‘luck’ in having a very handy galloper in the form of fiver-year-old Leodoro.
Of course, Ralph doesn’t merely put it down to luck. He is a devoted student of pedigrees undertaking careful examinations prior to making breeding decisions.
Ralph and his family have not just bred the Mick Kent trained gelding who has won two of his past three. They, perhaps unusually, bred, raced and still own Leodoro’s sire Jayemzed (Lion Cavern) not to forget racing and owning his dam White Gold (Colombia).
Leodoro is raced by the Zito, Cichello and Button families and chalked up his maiden city win over 1300 metres at Sandown last Wednesday,
Beautifully handled by our in-form apprentice Ethan Brown, Leodoro travelled well behind the leaders along the rails and stayed there into the straight before winning a head bobbing challenge.
For the Zitos, it was also the first mainland metropolitan city win for their Maldon based stallion Jayemzed.
Now based at Maldon’s Darnik Park having initially stood in Tasmania, the Group placed Jayemzed has had just eight runners – four of whom are winners with another two placegetters.
Until Wednesday the three times winner Bee Jay Zed (also bred by the Zito family) had been his highest prize money earner but with his fourth win from just 13 starts, Leodoro has now overtaken him with over $72,000 in stakes.
Michael Kent is confident that the best is still to come from Leodoro.
“He is a horse who has always shown us a lot on the track,” he said, adding that the sparingly raced bay has taken a while to figure things out.
“…he can run incredible times at home. He has always worked like a very good horse.”
“I can just see him bowling along in front over the mile at Flemington and not giving anything else a chance.”
Ralph was happy to send his two times winning Colombia mare White Gold (a full sister to the stakes placed dual city winner Oronero) to Jayemzed four years running.
Three foals have resulted from those matings, Leodoro the first – the second sold to China whilst the third, the three-year-old Gold Phoenix is close to debuting in Tasmania having won a recent trial.
Ralph and his fellow owners have been happy to give Leodoro the time he has needed, noting that from birth he looked the type to take a while to mature.
“He was a lovely foal but always looked a bit gaunt. I remember when we took Mick to see him for the first time as a yearling – he was just all height and skinniness!”
But, having had a good feeling about the Jayemzed – White Gold cross – Ralph was always confident and pedigree was one of the first things he talked about after his horse’s first city win.
“It was that Somethingroyal influence kicking in!” he laughed, noting that whilst Jayemzed is bred on a 4 x 6 cross of that influential matriarch via her legendary son Secretariat and her grandson Super Gray, White Gold is bred on a 5 x 5 cross of her other prolific son Sir Gaylord.
White Gold is also interestingly bred with her sire Colombia (full brother to Octagonal) and dam L’Anello hailing from the same family.
The yearling half-sister (by Needs Further) has been catalogued for the Magic Millions Tasmanian Sale.
There is also another Needs Further yearling at the sale which is out of a half sister to Leodoro.