Wednesday, 11 July 2012
: Boom three-year-old Howmuchdoyouloveme has made a 15-year dream come true for the Karakatsanis family after dominating Grafton's $150,000 Ramornie Handicap.
| Con Karakatsanis|
Photo by Racing and Sports
The dream was seeded in 1998 when Tony Karakatsanis ran fourth in the race, and on Wednesday afternoon he watched his son Con fulfil a burning ambition to win the town's flagship race.
Tony retired from training horses midway through last decade, but remained the keenest observer of his son's operation.
He bought Howmuchdoyoulove
me for just $5000 and the superstar gelding has now won four of his five career starts.
“It's been a long road to get one as good as this fella and I think he'll improve even more,” Tony said.
“I only bought him for five thousand dollars and I couldn't get one owner to go in him. The family kept him and one of my close friends took a share in him.
“He's just an untapped horse, he's brilliant. He's just got untold speed, when he goes he's cruising - even when he works three-quarter pace he's going quicker than anything, they can't keep up.”
Aiming to become the third three-year-old in 20 years to win the Ramornie, Howmuchdoyoulove
me jumped straight to the lead and was never headed.
The well-supported favourite slipped away from the punters' second elect River Lad
at the top of the straight, and won easing down by three lengths.Prost
bounded through to grab a narrow second from River Lad, but they were only the support act to one of the state's most untapped sprinters.
Karakatsanis knew early on in the piece his horse had the potential to win a Ramornie, but the road to Grafton was a tough one.
The son of Written Tycoon
collapsed from heat stress after running second at Rosehill in October, and connections immediately feared the worst.
He survived and underwent a respiratory operation before missing the summer and the autumn.
After wins at Doomben and Eagle Farm last month, Karakatsanis was always confident he could match it with the older horses of the Ramornie.
“We don't know how good this horse is he's an absolute superstar at this stage, he's got so much to learn he just runs on raw ability,” the trainer said.
“He was a little bit on the toe today whereas last start he was just that little bit on the dour side. Today he was right on the bunny and kind of expected him to do that and he didn't over race, he did everything right and the horse is learning every start.
“I'm sure there's some nice races for him in Melbourne.”
Jockey Brenton Avdulla said the horse would only improve.
“From day one he's always given me the feel of a serious horse,” Avdulla said.
“Since I won on him that day at Randwick [in October],Con and the boys, we've all been planning to bring him up to the Ramornie.
“Today I just wanted to show a few people how good he is and I tell you there's only improvement in him. I switched him off from the hundred onwards.
“When he gets to 1400 he's going to be a serious horse.”