Gentileschi earns Queensland Oaks shot

Oaks-bound filly Gentileschi is the latest talent on Paul Messara’s books.

Trainer : Paul Messara.
Trainer : Paul Messara.

It is often a juggling act to combine his dual roles of Arrowfield Stud general manager while also training a string of horses, but Paul Messara has the balance spot-on judging by recent results.

One of the Stud's most promising young sires, The Autumn Sun, has come into his own in the classic races this season, producing ATC Australian Oaks winner Autumn Angel and also the first three fillies across the line in last weekend's Australasian Oaks.

"He's had a fantastic run - two Oaks and a trifecta. It doesn't happen very often," Messara said.

Arrowfield now has hopes another of its stallions, established sire Dundeel, can add the Queensland Oaks to the Hunter-based organisation's decorated resume through his promising daughter Gentileschi.

Trained by Messara in partnership with Leah Gavranich, Gentileschi showed an impressive turn of foot to sweep down the outside and triumph in the Highway Handicap (1500m) at Hawkesbury on Saturday, her third win in succession.

The victory cemented her passage to Brisbane where she will line up in the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 25 as an audition for the Queensland Oaks (2200m) a fortnight later.

"The plan was always to go to The Roses up in Queensland, 2000 metres, and then hopefully on to the Oaks," Messara said.

"I've always thought she'd get 2000 metres and I've been looking forward to getting her out to that trip.

"I'd like to see her ridden cold and hitting the line like that in a couple of weeks' time."

A homebred for Arrowfield, Gentileschi is out of Artefiori, a daughter of former top sprinter Ortensia.

Messara can see characteristics from the sire and dam sides of the family, believing Gentileschi has inherited the best from both.

"She looks a lot like the old boy, certainly moreso than the mother," he said.

"But she's got a turn of foot like the mum's (side), so it has been a lovely cross."

While Messara and Gavranich prepare a relatively small team, they are no strangers to Queensland carnival success.

The duo took Miracle Of Love to Brisbane last year where she finished runner-up in the Group 1 J J Atkins before sadly suffering a suspected fatal heart attack in a barrier trial in February.