Patience Pays Off With Coliseo

The Norm Gardner trained Coliseo recorded a career best victory on Wednesday by powering home to take out The Links Shell Cove Handicap (2000m) at Kembla Grange.

Coliseo settled third-last after jumping from a wide barrier. The five-year-old gelding found a clear run in the straight after settling on the rails in transit to power home and win by a ¾-length over race favourite Mangaroa Flyer.

“It was great to win here with this horse. He's had a lot of issues and a lot of injury problems. I always thought he was up to the city class race, and we got one with him,” Gardner said.

The Canberra-based trainer said that he will be aiming to race Coliseo over a longer trip at his next start with the five-year-old hitting the line strongly in his win.

“I really think he is a mile-and-a-half horse. The way he races - he gets back and works home. So we might be sending him over a bit further,” he said.

Gardner praised the efforts of experienced jockey Jeff Penza who had not ridden Coliseo publicly for almost two-years.

“He's not the sort of horse that you can hold up and sprint the last few hundred. You've got to get him to the 600 and get him rolling. Jeff rode him terrific, he got him out and got him rolling along,” said Gardner.

Penza said that obtaining cover in the early stages of the race was a large influence in his come-from-behind win.

“The wind was a big factor today when we were back where we were, which is a normal position for him,” Penza said.

“He had to peel to the outside, and that's where the wind is but once he found space he went really well.”

It was Coliseo's fourth run this campaign having won narrowly first up at Goulburn and coming ultra close at Sapphire Coast in the lead-up to this race.

The reliable gelding has now recorded four wins and six minor placings from 15 starts.