Day At The Track

Formosa fossicking for further Bathurst Gold

07:37 PM 15 Mar 2016 NZDT
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Michael Formosa - Looking to build on great record at Bathurst
Michael Formosa - Looking to build on great record at Bathurst

Hunter Valley harness racing trainer Michael Formosa knows what it takes to win a feature race at Bathurst during the Gold Crown carnival.

Formosa drove Shadow Runner to victory in last year's Gold Crown for trainer Sam Dimarco and was the trainer/driver of Ultimate Art when he won the same race in 2012.

While Formosa started with six two-year-olds at the beginning of the season, only one remains in work and he is hoping that his lone youngster Rocknroll Emma can represent the stable successfully in the Bathurst Gold Tiara.

The filly has had two starts and was driven on both occasions by freelance reinsman Brad Cowen but Formosa will take the filly's reins during the carnival.

"The reason Brad (Cowen) has driven her at both of her race starts is that I was bringing two youngsters through together and because the other one was a bit of a handful I was doing all the work with it," Formosa said.

"I've got a good opinion of the filly, she is raced by my first ever client Charlie Camilleri, he bred her and I've always thought she had ability but she lacked high speed. "

"However, it has all started to come together at the right time because she now has developed the speed to go with the stamina."

Reliving his past successes at Bathurst, Formosa believes he has the right type of two-year-old to win another feature.

"Rocknroll Emma hasn't had as many starts as Ultimate Art or Shadow Runner but when you go into a series like this you know whether you have a realistic chance and I believe she is going to be a serious player."

When Formosa won the 2012 Gold Crown with Ultimate Art his wife Kirsty was unable to be trackside as she was at a friend's wedding. Should Rocknroll Emma qualify for the Gold Tiara it is highly likely Kirsty will not be at Bathurst to watch the filly compete.

"Kirsty and the kids headed off to Bathurst this morning (Tuesday) and I'm going to follow them later today."

"he kids took their ponies with them and they will head off to Gunning for the mini trotting state championships in the middle of next week."

"If I am needed at Bathurst then the girls will race at Gunning and I'll have to miss it but if I don't have anything in on Gold Crown night, then I might be able to head down to Gunning in time to watch them race."

Formosa also confirmed Ultimate Art will remain in Queensland for the time being.

The Inter Dominion finalist has hit form for trainer Shannon Price in Brisbane and Formosa is even considering asking the Queensland trainer to campaign the horse in Western Australia later in the year.

"I'll just have to wait and see how everything works out but Thomas (Ultimate Art) has really hit his straps with Shannon, he can definitely stay there until the winter carnival and then I want to see him compete in the Western Australian Inter Dominion later in the year."

"I need to have a chat to Shannon about it but I might even ask her to take him to Perth, I'll just have to wait and see."

"Initially when I sent him to Queensland I was going to travel up and drive him in races at Albion Park but with Newcastle racing on Saturday nights I have been busy and Barton (Cockburn) has struck up a good relationship with him by the looks of it."

The long trip from Formosa's property to Tabcorp Park Menangle was one of the main reasons Ultimate Art was sent to Queensland.

"Thomas was playing up on the way home in the float and during the summer months when I would get him off the float when we got home he would be in a lather of sweat and then he would spend most of Sunday lying down so I thought it might be best to send him north where he would spend a lot less time on the float."

"He's the new kid on the block up there and he is going extremely well, hopefully he can keep that form up until the big races during the winter."

Greg Hayes

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