Retirement Beckons For Poco Gusto

Aug 22, 2010

Five-year-old mare Poco Gusto ended her racetrack career on a winning note after prevailing in a tight finish at Geelong Synthetic last Wednesday.

Trained by Colin Little and ridden by Damien Oliver, Poco Gusto hit the lead with a furlong remaining in the $22,500 Thirsty Camel Country Showcase 0 - 68 Handicap (1900m) and appeared to have the race comfortably in her keeping.

But the daughter of Hussonet had an unwillingness to pass the post first with only the frantic urgings of Oliver preventing defeat.

Poco Gusto ($3.20-$3.60) beat Next Shot ($10-$13) by the barest of margins with Musical Lad ($8-$9) finishing half a length from the winner.

“She was trying to pull up,” Oliver said with a hint of a smile.

“She hit the front and was trying to come back underneath me and then she didn’t want to pull up after the race.

“She couldn’t make up her mind.”

Little says retirement appears the only option for Poco Gusto who secured her biggest prizemoney cheque due to Wednesday’s victory.

“She obviously wants to be a mum this mare,” Little said.

“She has a bit of ability and starts off her program OK but seems to then taper off.

“You get a few mares like that who tend to lose interest and I think it’s probably the case with her and Ollie was not going to let her lie down.

“You get to August and September and you’ve got to make a decision whether to go on another year and pay more training fees and whether there is more upside in her or retire her.

“She just been bought with the thought of being a broodmare and its just a matter of whether we go on for another year and I don’t think it’s warranted.”

Boasting a record of three wins and eight placings from 22 starts, Poco Gusto has won in excess of $76,000 in prizemoney.

She raced twice in stakes company, finishing second last in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and then tenth five days later in the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) behind Samantha Miss.

By Carl Di Iorio