Thursday, 28 June 2012
: Grafton's Ramornie Handicap has a long reputation for unearthing rising stars and it seems this year's edition on July 11 will again feature several up and coming sprinters destined for bigger things.
Photo by Racing and Sports
, the winner of the Ramornie in 2003, is perhaps the best example of the race being a stepping stone to top class. The Queanbeyan-trained marvel was unbeaten when he won the Ramornie and won a Group One race at his next start in the Salinger Stakes at Flemington.Battlefield
, the 2009 winner, is another recent example of the Ramornie being a perfect fit for classy sprinters on the rise. The Paul Messara –trained sprinter had won four of his first six starts before his Ramornie success at his seventh outing.
Unfortunately Battlefield has not raced since due to recurring fitness issues.
Rising stars who promise to add plenty of spice to this year's Ramornie include the last start Brisbane winner Howmuchdoyouloveme
and the impressive Angela Davies-trained speedster Magic Cassius
Magic Cassius is just one of two horses Davies has in work at Gosford, is doing her proud as he has built a record befitting a Ramornie winner with five wins from his first seven starts.
Davies said she had the $150,000 WHK Ramornie (1200m) on July 112 in her sights for Magic Cassius after he outclassed a restricted field at Newcastle last week.
Davies has to give Magic Cassius time between his races due to past problems and intends giving the four-year-old a jump out to top off his preparation for the Ramornie.
"He had immature knees and that meant I would give him work then put him out for six months, and then do that again," Davies said of her early problems with the Magic Albert gelding.
"Now everything is going well with him.
"I am glad I got him as he is a highly talented horse and the Ramornie is not beyond him."
The Con Karakastanis-trained Howmuchdoyouloveme will be a candidate for the history books if he wins the Ramornie as he will be running in the Listed race at only his fifth career after recording three wins and a second from his first four appearances.
Those four starts have been spread over 12 months as Karakatsanis discovered last spring that the exciting prospect had a respiratory problem when he collapsed from heat stress after running second at Rosehill at his second start.
An operation and long spell followed before the rising four-year-old returned with two impressive wins in Brisbane to set him up for an assault on the Ramornie, a race the Karakatsanis family have been longing to win for more than a decade.
"The Ramornie is the race we have always wanted since we started talking horses to Grafton carnivals," Karakatsanis said.
"We have won a lot of races at the carnival but the Ramornie has not been kind to us.
"We had high hopes for News Alert and Black Piranha but nothing went right for them," he said, referring to the Ramornie defeats of his top class pair in 2009 and 2011.
Howmuchdoyouloveme rose from a restricted win first-up at Doomben to beat win in open 3YO company at Eagle Farm last Saturday and seal plans for a crack at the Ramornie.
“I've had a very big opinion of him from the word go," said Karakatsanis.
“I still don't know how good he can be. He's got that little bit of an unknown factor about him.
"I think he's really good but just how good is the question he can answer in the Ramornie."