eteran trainer Lou Luciani will put promising three-year-old Tonto on a WA Derby campaign this autumn, following a number of impressive efforts in feature races over the recent Summer Carnival.
The gelding was beaten less than two lengths into fourth position in both the Fairetha Stakes and Aquanita Stakes, taken out by Disposition and Palace Intruder respectively.
The galloper also put up an honest display when he finished sixth behind Rommel in the Group 2 Sky Racing-WA Guineas on November 22.
Luciani said the three-year-old was back in work after a short break, and hinted at a return for Tonto in the $100,000 Listed Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on February 28, en route to the Group 2 WA Derby (2400m) on April 11.
“He is back in work and he worked very well at Bunbury this morning,” Luciani said.
“He will be on a Derby campaign, so he can start in the Lex Piper Stakes over 1600 and we will see how many runs he needs.
“We have to be careful with him because he has only had a short let-up.”
Meanwhile, Luciani will saddle up Bull’s Express in today’s Gate Bar And Bistro Maiden (1600m) at Pinjarra, and said he hoped the galloper could finally deliver on what he has promised.