Wednesday, 11 July 2012
: This afternoon's time-honoured Ramornie Sprint that was first run at Grafton in 1917 has been a target for the Karakatsanis family for several years and this afternoon Con will saddle up two strong winning chances in Howmuchdoyouloveme and Riva De Lago in a bid to realise the family dream.
| Con Karakatsanis|
Photo by Racing and Sports
The $150,000 Ramornie Handicap was first targeted by Con's father Tony back in 1998 with the handy sprinter Little Lucifer who ran a close fourth to Kidlat that year. Two more unsuccessful attempts followed in 1999 and 2001 but this afternoon the Karakatsanis's family are back in Grafton for unfinished business.
Former jockey now trainer Con Karakatsanis has been a regular visitor to Grafton in recent years and showed the stable was in top form with a winning treble at Grafton last Sunday.
In an open race Riva De Lago
has the highest weight adjusted Timeform
rating a pound ahead of Howmuchdoyouloveme
and Magic Cassius
, provided the track is no worse than dead.
Riva De Lago's last two runs have been below form but I am prepared to overlook those efforts both on rain affected ground and go back to his excellent earlier form and ratings, a repeat of which would see this fellow take a strong hand in proceedings.
The current dead track rating for Grafton should not present any concerns for Riva de Lago who three back ran close to a peak Timeform rating when a convincing winner in open company at Scone over 1300m where he defeated Torio's Quest in what turned out to be a very strong form reference.
At his start prior he an unlucky fifth behind Tiger Tees in the Listed Hall Mark Stakes over 1200m at Randwick on Cup day.
Riva De Lago resumes off a 25 day break and although he is likely to get back in the field from his inside barrier, with the likelihood of a fast pace up front, I can see Riva De Lago launching late.
Stablemate Howmuchdoyouloveme is the sole three-year-old in the race but that should not be held against him despite the fact he takes on open class for the first time.
His age group has won just two renewals in the last 20 years, Battlefield (2009) and Cangronde (1996) but 16 in total since the 1917.
It is not a race trainers often target with that age group but the good ones are usually very competitive when they do.
Howmuchdoyouloveme would possibly be the lightest raced of that age group to ever contest a Ramornie having raced just four times for three wins and a second but his last two wins in easier grade were achieved with much in hand.
The gelding has raced just the twice since a spell and after leading throughout at Doomben over 1010m to win as he liked he then followed that up with a similar victory over 1200m at Eagle Farm in open 3YO class under 58kgs.
This afternoon he tumbles to 54kgs and has drawn the coveted ace position enabling Brenton Avdulla the luxury of either leading or taking the trail.
Early favourite is another exciting young sprinter on the way up Magic Cassius trained by Angela Davies.
A winner of five of his seven race starts to date he has abundant speed and also comes into the race third up form a spell.
After needing the run when resuming at Rosehill when third in benchmark 80 grade, Magic Cassius then strolled home at Newcastle in a benchmark 75 race. After leading throughout he streaked clear in the straight to win by a widening 3.5 lengths.
Magic Cassius also drops 4 kilos in weight but like Howmuchdoyouloveme faces his biggest test to date.
While he rates as one of the winning hopes, I feel his odds of less than $3.00 does not present much value when compared to others in the race.
The John Thompson-trained Prost
has raced three times since a spell improving his ratings each occasion, but is another who will not appreciate a wet track,
He caught the eye at big odds last time out in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich when fourth running on solidly from tenth on the home turn.
The slight drop back in trip is not ideal but like Riva De Lago he should be suited by a fact run race.
The in form River Lad cannot be discounted.
A winner of three of his last four race starts, including last start when resuming over 1200m in G3 company at Eagle Farm, River Lad
continues to increase his ratings profile.
He has not drawn all that well in 10 and will need luck but he can take up a position behind the speed and if he gets luck early cannot be left out of calculations.
Enjoy a very competitive Ramornie with several exciting prospects for the future.