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The Grafton Cup Carnival’s Ramornie Handicap may have been a race full of recent disappointment for Con Karakatsanis but the dedicated Rosehill horseman is hoping to turn that around in 2012 after nominating two rising stars from his stables for the feature.
Running next Wednesday as one of the headline races of the $1 million Clarence River Jockey Club’s July Carnival, the $150,000 Listed WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m) nominations were taken earlier this week with 29 sprinters making up the early entries.
Among those are two for former hoop Karakatsanis with Howmuchdoyouloveme and Riva De Lago.
Karakatsanis will be looking to make amends for some unlucky Ramornie results in the past including unplaced favourite in 2009 News Alert who was injured during the run when ninth to Battlefield, and dual Stradbroke Handicap champ Black Piranha’s fifth to Jerezana 12 months ago.
“Let’s hope it’s third time lucky,” Karakatsanis said.
Lightly-raced Written Tycoon three-year-old Howmuchdoyouloveme has won three of their four starts to date including back-to-back Brisbane wins this winter.
They were last seen taking out a 1200m handicap at Eagle Farm on June 23 carrying 58kg, jockey Brenton Avdulla excited about their Ramornie chances were they are likely to get in on the 54kg minimum.
Riva De Lago meanwhile is likely to appreciate the step back in class, the Encosta De Lago four-year-old looking to bounce back after two notable defeats with Josh Adams to ride.
After a good win over 2011 Queensland Guineas winner Torio’s Quest at Scone on May 18, Riva De Lago failed to let down in the wet when beaten 15 lengths finishing 11th to Celtic Dancer in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) run on a Heavy (10) Eagle Farm course on June 2.
Last start they finished at the tail end of the field again when 10th, albeit beaten only four lengths, by Belltone in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich on June 16.
“They are thriving and I couldn’t be happier with them,” the trainer said of his Ramornie duo.
“Riva De Lago has an edge in experience but Howmuchdoyouloveme is untapped and keeps improving with every race.”
Other notable WHK Ramornie Handicap nominations this year include the Gary Portelli-trained Eight Bills, last-start Newcastle winner Magic Cassius, Joe Pride’s Takeover Target champ See The World and former dual winner of the feature The Jackal.
The 2012 Ramornie Handicap weights, as well as those for next Thursday’s Grafton Cup, are due for release later today.
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