WINNER: Pennino with Matthew McGillivray at the Chief De Beers Handicap at Caloundra.
WINNER: Pennino with Matthew McGillivray at the Chief De Beers Handicap at Caloundra.

Pennino on track for tilt at Stradbroke Handicap

RACING: Sunshine Coast trainer Darryl Hansen has set his sights on the Stradbroke Handicap, after Pennino claimed an imposing win in the Chief De Beers Handicap.

The four-year-old, with Matthew McGillivray aboard, cruised to a two-length victory over Hold The Line, in the Listed $85,000 race at Caloundra on Friday night.

It was her first outing since mid-January, and she made an immediate impression as a $4.80 chance.

“We left her nice and fresh. We didn’t trial her. We gave her a couple of good gallops and had her right for the job over 1000m,” Hansen said.

And a bigger prize is on the radar.

“We’ve nominated for the Stradbroke. That was the main aim so we’re just going to try and map her way there.”

The Group 1 feature at Eagle Farm on June 6 would present a step up in class and distance but Hansen believed the mare is able to cover the extra ground well.

“She’s been over 1400m to end her campaigns (before). We’re just trying to get her there (to the Stradbroke) while she’s nice and fresh this time.”

Pennino’s won six of 24 starts, including the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas, and amassed more than $560,000 in prize money.

“As a two-year-old she showed us plenty and she’s gone on with the job which is really good.”

Half of her victories have come on wet tracks but her performance on a good surface on Friday helped proved a point.

“Everyone says she needs bit of give in the ground but she’s as good on top of the ground,” Hansen.

“She’s pretty versatile, wet, dry, a good horse.”



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