Wednesday, 11 July 2012
: Exciting sprint prospect Magic Cassius is a shock late scratching from today's $150,000 WHK Ramornie Handicap at Grafton.
Photo by Racing and Sports
Magic Cassius, a heavily backed pre post favourite, was withdrawn after trainer Angela Davies advised stewards of a fitness issue after he exercised at Grafton this morning.
His withdrawal will see the highly promising Howmuchdoyouloveme start a firm favourite as he challenges the Ramornie record books.
The three-year-old will be out to become only the second horse of his age group in over two decades to win the to the time-honoured race that commenced in 1917.
In 2009, the ill-fated Battlefield scored, the first 3YO since Cangronde defeated Moss Rocket in 1996.
Prior to Cangronde, Friend's Venture won as a three-year-old in 1991 and Lightning Bend, two years earlier.
All up 16 three-year olds have won the Clarence River Jockey Club's flagship sprint.
The Con Karakatsanis-trained Howmuchdoyouloveme is taking on open company for the first time and will give his family a deserving a win as they have been trying to win the Ramornie since Con's father Tony campaigned with Little Lucifer in 1998.
“The Ramornie is the race I've wanted to win my whole career,” Karakastanis said. “It means a lot to the family. I'm sure it's going to be quiet emotional.”
Karakatsanis will also saddle up Riva de Lago, the subject of a jockey dispute scheduled to be settled an hour before the first tomorrow.
Karakatsanis listed Matthew Bennett but apprentice Josh Adams claims he was booked for the ride.
Howmuchdoyouloveme and Riva de Lago worked stylishly together on the Grafton course proper last Friday.
“They went to the line head and head,” Karakatsanis revealed. “Everything is perfect I couldn't be happier with both horses.
“Howmuchdoyouloveme will be either leading or running second. Riva de Lago will settle midfield.”
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