The Tina Cotiopoulos-trained Howmuchdoyouloveme has been asked to carry the hefty 60.5kg top-weight for their title defense in next week’s Ramornie Handicap 2013 at Grafton.
Twelve months ago the honest Written Tycoon gelding below their rivals away in the $150,000 WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m) when prepared by Con Karakatsanis with a four length victory, their third on the trot.
For that effort however they carried only 54kg.
It is then a dramatic increase up to 60.5kg which they’ve been slapped with for next Wednesday’s showdown.
The now four-year-old has since their Ramornie win last winter won a Group 2 at Caulfield last October as well as back-to-back black types this time in at Eagle Farm.
Two back they put two lengths on Delago Bolt to take out the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m).
Showing an affinity for the Brisbane course Howmuchdoyouloveme then posted their third win from as many starts at Eagle Farm on June 22 overcoming barrier 11 of 11 in the Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m).
They held on by a long neck to beat home River Lad carrying 60kg in doing so, a very impressive effort that didn’t go unnoticed by Racing NSW handicappers for the Ramornie.
There are then three horses following Howmuchdoyouloveme in the Ramornie Handicap weights and ballot on 57kg.
The first is the Desleigh Forster-trained Group 3 Rubiton Stakes winner Adebisi who hasn’t raced since their failed effort beating home just one other runner in the Listed Bribie Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on March 30.
Bribie Handicap winner the Sunshine Coast-based River Lad is also on 57kg, Natalie Mccall’s Top Echelon five-year-old last seen finishing second in the WJ Healy Stakes.
The third is then Peter Snowden’s Lonhro seven-year-old Skytrain, seventh in the Healy, whose last win was in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) in the mud at Warwick Farm on February 23.
Other Ramornie hopes weighted above the 54kg minimum then include the Kevin Moses-trained eight-year-old veteran News Alert (56kg) who hasn’t won a race since December 2011, and Taree-based Youthful Jack (55kg) resuming after a disappointing last ate Newcastle in March.
Sue Grills’ Tamworth galloper Border Rebel, fourth in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) two back, and the Rob Heathcote-trained Falvelon seven-year-old Gundy Son are then on 54.5kg.
Gundy Son is sure to be one of the top fancies in the mix too following a number of good runs this time in including their fourth in the WJ Healy when defeated just over a length.
Notable hopes getting in with just 54kg then include Port Macquarie mare Pentasia, WJ Healy Stakes third placed Delago Bolt from just north of Brisbane, recent Glasshouse Handicap runner-up Celtic Dancer, the versatile Big Bonanza and Toby Edmond’s Gold Coast-based War Ends who is equal first on the ballot with the reigning winner.
Redoute’s Choice six-year-old War Ends secured their Ramornie Handicap start on Thursday with a nice win in the John Carlton Handicap (1215m) at Grafton which gave them a ballot free ride into the grand final on Wednesday.
The full 2013 Ramornie Handicap nominations, weights and latest order of entry are detailed in the table below.
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2013 Ramornie Handicap Weights & Ballot
Grafton Racecourse – 10/07/2013
|3||RIVER LAD||Natalie Mccall||3=||57.5kg||102|
|5||NEWS ALERT||Kevin Moses||6||56kg||99|
|6||YOUTHFUL JACK||Ross Stitt||8||55kg||97|
|7||BORDER REBEL||Sue Grills||9=||54.5kg||96|
|8||GUNDY SON||Robert Heathcote||9=||54.5kg||96|
|9||BANDIT QUEEN||Mark Lynch||30||54kg||59|
|11||BIG BONANZA||Don Robb||14=||54kg||88|
|12||CASSIE’S FAVOURITE||Jeff Brasch||27=||54kg||70|
|13||CELTIC DANCER||Noel J Doyle||13||54kg||90|
|14||CRAZY MAMMA||Bruce W Hill||27=||54kg||70|
|15||DELAGO BOLT||James Lyons||11||54kg||95|
|16||EMOTIONAL CIRCUS||Kris Lees||12||54kg||91|
|17||IDEAL POSITION||Jeff Brasch||22=||54kg||78|
|19||NORMA BETTY’S BOY||David Pfieffer||22=||54kg||78|
|21||PRIVATE EXPRESS||Tom Pratt||24=||54kg||77|
|22||SKATING ON ICE||Les Kelly||16=||54kg||87|
|24||SPOT ON TARGET||Toby Edmonds||20||54kg||81|
|25||TEN TO ZERO||Ray McCall||27=||54kg||70|
|26||THE JACKAL||Kane St Vincent||18||54kg||86|
|28||USAIN PRINCE||Sue Grills||26||54kg||75|
|29||VINTAGE MOSS||John M Fitzgerald||21||54kg||80|
|30||WAR ENDS||Toby Edmonds||1=||54kg||88|