After years of trying Rosehill horseman Con Karakatsanis finally took out one of the Grafton Cup Carnival’s premier races with progressive sprinter Howmuchdoyouloveme scoring a devastating and well-deserved win in the $150,000 Listed WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m) this afternoon.
Following the early scratching of former favourite Magic Cassius lightly-raced Written Tycoon three-year-old Howmuchdoyouloveme jumped the new top elect in the Ramornie Handicap odds at bookies around the country paying around $2.80.
Having just their fifth career start the gelding made a huge impression in their maiden black-type assignment, Howmuchdoyoulove me taking their record to four wins.
Regular rider Brenton Avdulla continued his successful association with the up-and-comer who was last seen winning a 1200m handicap at Eagle Farm on June 23 with 58kg on their back.
Appreciating the drop back to 54kg today, as well as their ideal barrier one draw, Howmuchdoyouloveme was best away from the barriers and never looked in doubt as they ran off to an all-too-easy, all-the-way Ramornie win.
Con and his father Tony Karakatsanis were over the moon with today’s WHK Ramornie Handicap result, Howmuchdoyouloveme breaking a hoodoo in the feature race for the family.
And what a win it was to break that hoodoo today, Howmuchdoyouloveme nursed along by Avdulla in front before streaking in the final 200-metres to put a smart three and three quarter lengths on the John Thompson-trained Prost ($6) who was coming off a great fourth in the Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich.
Finishing off the winning Ramornie Handicap trifecta a further half length away in third was then last start Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes winner River Lad ($3.70) just ahead of a gallant 58kg topweight Youthful Jack ($13) who did well to cross another nose away fourth after sitting three deep throughout.
“It’s a big day what can I say I’m absolutely wrapped,” Karakatsanis said.
“This race is something special and we’ve finally done it what can we say.
“We don’t know how good this horse is.
“He’s an absolute superstar, he’s got so much to learn he’s doing it all on raw ability at this stage.
“He was a little bit on the toe today, last start he was a little bit on the dour side.
“He was right on the bunny we expected him to do this.”
Karakatsanis confirmed the Ramornie Handicap winner would be sent for a short freshen-up before being bought back for a shot at the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival riches later in the year.
“He’s very good,” he said.
“I’m sure he’ll have a short little break after this and we’ll end up taking him back.
“I’m sure there’s some nice races for him in Melbourne.”
Avdulla was also full of praise for Howmuchdoyouloveme, a horse he has had a good feel about since day dot.
“He’s always had the feel of being a serious horse,” the jockey said.
“We always thought it was going to be him (winning).
“He’s obviously broken history to come and do it today and he’s only going to improve.
“I just wanted to show people how good he is.
“When he gets to the 1400-metres he’ll be a serious horse.”
See below for the full 2012 WHK Ramornie Handicap results and finishing order.
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2012 WHK Ramornie Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Grafton Race 6 – 11/07/2012
|1||12||HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME||Con Karakatsanis||Brenton Avdulla||–||1||54kg||$2.80F|
|2||6||PROST||John P Thompson||Jeff Lloyd||3.8L||6||54kg||$6|
|3||3||RIVER LAD||Natalie Mccall||Timothy Bell (a)||4.3L||8||55.5kg||$3.70|
|4||1||YOUTHFUL JACK||Ross Stitt||Robert Thompson||4.5L||7||58kg||$13|
|5||5||OLLIE VOLLIE||Sue Grills||Ric McMahon||4.7L||9||54kg||$26|
|6||4||RIVA DE LAGO||Con Karakatsanis||Matthew Bennett||6.2L||2||54.5kg||$6|
|7||8||FALCO STAR||Liam Birchley||Glenn Lynch||6.5L||3||54kg||$31|
|8||7||PIMPALA SECRET||Gordon Yorke||Scott Thurlow||7L||4||54kg||$41|
|9||11||GETYOUROWN||Paddy Cunningham||Nathan Thomas||9.1L||5||54kg||$11|
|–||13||PERSIAN STORM||Patrick & Wayne Webster||Glen Colless||–||0||–||–|
|–||2||MOTSPUR||Kris Lees||Paul Hammersley||–||0||–||–|
|–||9||MAGIC CASSIUS||Angela Davies||Corey Brown||–||0||–||–|
|–||10||MARTIN PLACE||Jason Coyle||Dale Spriggs||–||0||–||–|