The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Kiwi expat Riodini from the Waterhouse/Bott stable broke a lengthy drought posting his first win in over 1000 days with a dominant success in the 2022 The Gong results at Kembla Grange on Saturday.
It had been exactly 1077 days since the now six-year-old son of Proisir last celebrated a turf triumph.
He was backed to his best at the Grange taking out the seven-figure $1 million The Gong (1600m) over the mile.
Last seen running three lengths back eighth behind Private Eye in the $3 million Nature Strip Stakes (1300m) three weeks ago as a triple-figure outside, Riodini was well backed third-up and fit getting out over further in The Gong.
He jumped the $6.50 favourite in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au and didn’t disappoint, jockey Tim Clark guiding the top elect to a half-length win for the punters.
Riodini was running three-wide with no cover throughout before getting cracking on the home straight to hit the lead and surge clear over the final furlong.
“A real target race third-up at a mile. He got in really well at the weights,” Clark said.
“He’d had a really good lead-up, he enjoyed his two runs.
“He toughed it out really good in the end.
“Inside the last hundred, he really responded when he felt her (Hope In Your Heart) coming.
“It’s a great result for the horse. He’s been a long time out of the winners’ stall so it’s good to see him back in form and getting a win because he’s been very honest.”
Kerry Parker’s local runner Hope In Your Heart produced another stellar effort backing up from her $10 million Golden Eagle fourth to finish runner-up at her home track to cap off a brilliant spring for the Dundeel mare.
The Gong trifecta was completed by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Old Flame ($7) who ran a length back third.
Old Flame finished just ahead of Team Hawkes’ emergency runner, Wild Planet ($31), who was outstanding having been ridden aggressively to lead the field before hanging on for a close fourth.
It was another top training performance by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott who had nursed Riodini along to have him peaking for his grand final over a mile in the fourth edition of the region’s richest race.
“What a training feat by Gai and Adrian, they’ve had this race in mind,” part-owner Neil Payne told Sky Thoroughbred Central after the race.
“They’ve had him spot on for today.
“A great ride by Tim. Gai told him to just take a sit behind and then pull out then six or seven deep in the track so it was by design.
“Gai and Adrian have trained this horse a treat. Teffific for the owners to win a million-dollar race, we’re just over the moon.”
Riodini also set a new track record in The Gong saluting in a time of 1 minute and 33.57 seconds.
Payne confirmed plans to target the new-look Group 2 $2 million The Ingham Stakes (1600m) – formerly the Villiers Stakes – run over the Randwick mile on December 10.
“The Ingham, my word, he’ll be hard to beat in that,” he said.
“He’s run third in a Group 1 over a mile (2020 Epsom Handicap). He loves the Randwick mile.
“It’s all up from here.
“Another $2 million will be handy again!”
Updated 2022 The Ingham betting at Ladbrokes.com.au have Riodini at $11 with Hope In Your Heart the narrow $8 all-in favourite.
Click here for the full markets.
2022 The Gong Results & Finishing Order
|1||16||RIODINI (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||8||53.5kg||$6.50F|
|2||12||HOPE IN YOUR HEART||Kerry Parker||Jason Collett||0.5L||13||55.5kg||$7.50|
|3||8||OLD FLAME (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tommy Berry||1L||16||56.5kg||$7|
|4||17e||WILD PLANET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Zac Lloyd (a)||1.2L||7||53.5kg||$31|
|5||13||BRUTALITY||Joseph Pride||Regan Bayliss||1.6L||10||54.5kg||$8|
|6||6||SURF DANCER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Rachel King||2.1L||9||58kg||$17|
|7||9||SKY LAB||Paul Perry||Ms Winona Costin||2.3L||3||56.5kg||$21|
|8||14||PURPLE SECTOR (NZ)||John Thompson||Reece Jones (a)||2.5L||1||54.5kg||$13|
|9||3||PROMISE OF SUCCESS (GB)||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||2.7L||2||58.5kg||$17|
|10||4||RUSTIC STEEL||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||2.9L||5||58.5kg||$9.50|
|11||11||OSCAR ZULU||Chris Waller||Chad Schofield||3.3L||12||56kg||$11|
|12||7||BERDIBEK (FR)||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||3.8L||6||56.5kg||$101|
|13||2||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||3.9L||4||59kg||$18|
|14||1||JUST FOLK||Josh Julius||Jarrod Fry||4.2L||14||59kg||$21|
|15||15||LOVE TAP||Richard & Will Freedman||Andrew Adkins||5.7L||15||53.5kg||$21|
|16||18e||PARRY SOUND||Sara Ryan||Dylan Gibbons (a)||6.5L||11||54kg||$201|
|19e||STEELY||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||Tyler Schiller (a)||0|
|20e||KISS SUM||Tracey Bartley||0|
|5||KIRWAN’S LANE (NZ)||John O’Shea||Tom Sherry||0|
|10||ATISHU (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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