The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
However far from seeing the Ramornie as a consolation prize, Karakatsanis says it is a race that he has always wanted to win.
“I’ve been coming up to Grafton for a long time, even before I was a jockey or a trainer,” Karakatsanis said.
“Dad was always a big supporter of Grafton and I guess my desire to win a Ramornie has grown from that.
“If I could win it, I’d be just as happy as I was winning the two Stradbroke’s. That is how much it would mean.”
If Black Piranha is to deliver the Ramornie to Karakatsanis he will have to overcome a recent drop in form.
Black Piranha never looked a chance in the Stradbroke Handicap, after returning his best run for some time, when third in the Doomben 10,000. Before that the last time he finished in the placing’s was in the 2010 Stradbroke.
And with 61kg on his back, Black Piranha will also need to break a weight carrying record that has stood since 1965.
“It takes a pretty good horse to win a Ramornie with a weight that we have,” Karakatsanis said.
“It is something that will be playing on my mind but I have absolute faith in the horse. Not many horses are able to win two Stradbroke’s in a row.
“The way I am looking at it is that if the weights weren’t capped at 61kg, he would be carrying a lot more.”
Karakatsanis also confirmed that it was always in his planning to bring his stable star to Grafton for his first crack at the Ramornie Handicap.
“Three months ago I sat down and worked out the horses I would be bringing to Grafton. It is not a last minute option,” Karakatsanis said.
“We didn’t race him at all in the Autumn so we could concentrate on Brisbane and then come to Grafton. He’s only had three runs this preparation and is as good as I can get him.”
Black Piranha worked on the Grafton track yesterday in between races and Karakatsanis could not fault the gelding.
“It was only a 600m hit out, pretty much just to stretch his legs and get him right for Wednesday. He is not the greatest worker, so we never really expect much from him until race day. He’s nice and fresh, he’s bouncing around and looks a treat.”
Black Piranha will be ridden by Michael Rodd in the Ramornie, which will be run as race seven on Wednesday’s Grafton card.
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