Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Altomonte Keen On Ichihara In Magic Night

Owner and breeder George Altomonte is unlikely to be tempted to pay the late entry fee for Ichihara to run in the Golden Slipper, even if she wins Saturday's Magic Night Stakes at Rosehill.

The Allan Denham-trained filly is unbeaten in two starts and is a $9 chance to maintain her perfect record in the Group Two 1200-metre race.

"She's not nominated for the Slipper," Altomonte said.

"We could pay a late entry I suppose. I'm pretty reluctant to do that.

"But I'll keep my options open. We won't close the door on any options at this stage. We will see what she does on Saturday."

Altomonte is proprietor of Corumbene Stud in the upper Hunter Valley and has around 35 broodmares on his books including 2003 champion two-year-old Hasna.

Each year, a new generation of between 25 and 30 foals are born.

The colts are prepared for sale while Altomonte retains a handful of fillies to race, Ichihara among them.

"As a breeder, I keep about three or four fillies and race them and I sell all my colts of course. I've got to do that to pay for the service fee," Altomonte said.

"As a breeder you've got to try to mix your bloodlines.

"If you've got a mare who is getting on a bit you want to keep the bloodline and you've got to keep a filly, of course, to do that."

Even if Ichihara doesn't contest the Golden Slipper, Altomonte will still be represented in Saturday week's pivotal race.

He bred the Gai Waterhouse-trained Raceway, a $13 chance for the Slipper with TAB Sportsbet, along with $51 chance Narcissus who will tackle Saturday's Pago Pago Stakes.

Along with Ichihara, Altomonte will also have an interest in Saturday's Group Three Epona Stakes as the owner of the Guy Walter-trained Brightest.

She finished seventh in the Aspiration Quality (1600m) last start after a tough run and Altomonte is looking forward to seeing her over a longer trip.

"She's always wanted a bit of distance and I think the 1900 (metres) will suit her," he said.

"If we can get both of them to get up on the weekend I'll be very happy."

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