Former trainer Trish Roberts celebrates special win with homebred galloper Marocchino in JRA Trophy at Ascot

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Jay RooneyThe West Australian
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Marocchino wins at Ascot for jockey Shaun McGruddy and breeder and part-owner Trish Roberts (centre).
Camera IconMarocchino wins at Ascot for jockey Shaun McGruddy and breeder and part-owner Trish Roberts (centre). Credit: Simon Merritt/Simon Merritt / Western Racepix

A $1000 mare who was forced out of racing after going blind in one eye has helped deliver Trish Roberts one of her most special wins in racing.

A former trainer and now partner of master horseman Lou Luciani, Roberts was on an incredible high after her homebred galloper Marocchino won Saturday’s Japan Racing Association Trophy (2100m) at Ascot.

She had her bargain buy Comesitbesideme, an Ascot winner for Roberts in 2010, to thank for the Listed victory.

“He’s from my mare that I bought for $1000,” Roberts said.

“She was special, she went blind in an eye and that’s why she didn’t do much racing.

“I took a chance on Maschino way back before he was even known and I produced this horse.

“I’m proud of Lou, he’s done an amazing job with him.”

Marocchino ($7.50) settled outside of the lead for jockey Shaun McGruddy and kicked clear at the top of the straight to beat Bad Wolf ($9) by half a length.

Stafford’s Lad ($21) finished powerfully for third ahead of the $1.75 favourite Midnight Blue, who rocketed home from last but ultimately had too much ground to make up.

Luciani will set Marocchino, a winner at eight of 29 starts, for the Perth Cup (2400m) on January 1.

“This is her (Roberts’) baby,” Luciani said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a connection between human and horse like this one.

“I must admit I was surprised he wasn’t more talked about given the shocking state of the race and track the other day (in the Ascot Gold Cup).

“He did have a gut-buster and I was tossing up if he didn’t come out of it, he would have been going to the paddock.

“Thankfully he came out of it, had a week down the beach and it’s still onwards and upwards.”

Albany trainer Roy Rogers claimed bragging rights when his gelding Kendel’s Mee Dad won the $100,000 Regional Championship Final (1200m) for jockey Brad Rawiller.

Fabergino’s little brother Nowhiteflag bounced back from a last-start flop to score a dominant win in the $100,000 Westspeed Platinum Series Final (1400m) for trainer Todd Harvey and McGruddy.

Trainer Adam Durrant bookended the meeting with The Front Bar and Beret while Lindsey Smith also prepared a double with promising gallopers Triple Missile and God Has Chosen.

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