Osvaldo ready for business
Osvaldo didn't strike race conditions to suit on Wednesday night at Happy Valley, but was doing his best work late in the Class Two New York Handicap (1,800m) and isn't far off a win.
Andreas Schutz is Osvaldo's fourth trainer in four seasons of racing, but he appears to have revitalised the seven-year-old after two positive performances this season.
In his return last month on the all-weather track, the gelding was patiently ridden before working home strongly to finish third behind Withinmyheart over 1,200m.
Osvaldo was better suited this time over 1,800m, but unfortunately drew the always difficult outside gate.
Purton was in no hurry after breaking cleanly from gate 11, slotting him in one off the fence and second from the rear and about nine lengths off the leader and eventual winner Handsome Zulu. Osvaldo shifted to the outside of Euro Swiftly with one wider out at the 250m and was the only one to make good late headway to finish 21/2 lengths away in fourth - clocking a final split of 23.19 seconds.
The Australian-bred son of Perugino has always been a useful performer, but hasn't brought up a win since November 2009, when coming home on top in a mile event on the dirt off a mark of 85, one point higher than his current rating.
Osvaldo joined the Ricky Yiu Poon-fai stable in the 2008-09 season after a successful stint in Australia and has shown great versatility throughout his 26 starts in Hong Kong - chalking up two wins, once each over 1,200m on turf and mile on the all-weather track. He also has seven placings on both surfaces from 1,200m to 2,000m at Happy Valley or Sha Tin.
With Schutz having Osvaldo in the right frame of mind and many possible race options with the precocious type, it is only a matter of time before the brown gelding ends his winless streak.