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Martino prepares for an Italian job at Tamworth (Friday)

3 minute read

A horseman from Calabria in Italy could have a smart filly on his hands as he journeys to Tamworth on Friday.

Picture: Racing Photos

Fabio Martino prepares Tokyo Star from his Hawkesbury base with the New Zealand-bred filly winning two of her only three starts for the stable and $29,000 in prizemoney.

Martino, 31, came to Australia nine years ago and first cut his teeth at the stables of Chris Waller, Paul Messara, David Payne, Gary Moore and Michael Freedman.

"They are the best around and I learnt a great deal from each of them," Martino said. "They taught me so much and gave me the confidence to go out on my own."

Martino has recorded five winners to date, four this season, with his first being Eliseo at Canberra followed by Mr Papera at Hawkesbury, Eliseo at Bong Bong and Tokyo Star (Wellington and Armidale).

Tokyo Star is scheduled to start in Friday's $30,000 Showcase Class 3 Handicap (1400m) at Tamworth.

The filly was originally trained in Victoria where she was unplaced in her only two southern starts at Sandown and Murtoa.

But Martino seems to have found the key to Tokyo Star with the filly having just three starts for the stable and winning two of those at Wellington and Armidale.

Tokyo Star's debut run for the stable was at Wellington where she led all the way.

"Everything went right for us that day; a great jockey aboard [Jake Pracey-Holmes] and in the right spot in the field out in front," Martin said.

The three-year-old then ventured to Hawkesbury where she finished sixth after leading but working hard in transit.

"There was a lot of pressure from the other horses in that race and she eventually weakened.

"She is best off racing two to three lengths off the speed which we're hoping for at Tamworth."

At her last start at Armidale, Tokyo Star was camped in fifth position until just before the home turn before getting into the clear and finishing powerfully to score under gun apprentice Braith Nock.

Friday's Tamworth eight-race card is a Racing NSW Country Showcase meeting offering $275,000 in prizemoney with Tamworth Jockey Club having a happy hour for drink prices from 3pm, meat raffles and a tipping competition.

TJC's meeting is sandwiched between three successive Friday meetings at Tamworth: 21 June, 28 June and 5 July.

Meanwhile, Marthaguy picnics, run at Quambone Racecourse, will go ahead on Saturday after being postponed from 11 May following wet weather.

It is a six-race community meeting with a free luncheon and a fashion on the field contest.

The Club has been devoid of luck with the meeting being called off in 2022 and 2023 with the last Cup run in 2021 being won by Zoutentant.

Monday: Albury, Narromine
Tuesday: Taree
Friday: Tamworth, Moruya
Saturday: Gundagai, Marthaguy picnics (at Quambone)
Sunday: Ballina, Dubbo

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