Natuzzi, last-start winner of the Lightning Handicap at Trentham, has been assigned an open 1200m at Caulfield on April 12 to begin an Australian campaign.
Wingatui trainer Paul Richards will accompany Natuzzi to Australia. Natuzzi is booked to fly from Auckland to Melbourne on Sunday week.
Natuzzi resumed work yesterday with Richard Collett at Pukekohe. Natuzzi had a week in the paddock at the agistment farm of Gareth McRae at Pukekohe after winning the listed Lightning Handicap (1200m) for the second successive year. The Coats Choice gelding has now seven races and $211,125 for Mosgiel owners Bill and Sandra Duell.
''We will see how he performs at Caulfield and then decide if he will go to Adelaide for the Group I Goodwood in May,'' Richards said.
Natuzzi will be stabled with Bevan Laming at Cranbourne.
Richards rode Ain't No Doubt to win first up in Australia over 2000m at Flemington in September, 1998. He trained Ain't No Doubt to win five races in New Zealand but the mare went to Australia with Hec Anderton as a travelling companion for De Montfort.
The Richards-trained Anzac Star has the $25,000 open 1200m at Riverton on April 19 as his next assignment. Anzac Star was given a week off work after his last-start win in the open 1200m at Wingatui on March 8. It was his ninth win and advanced his earnings to $94,140 for Dunedin owner, Ray Chalklin.
- The Southland Times