Classy gelding Riodini is back for another shot at the Epsom

Riodini is on the road to another Group 1 Epsom Handicap when he resumes racing at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The talented Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Riodini returns after a long lay-off in the Listed $150,000 Drinkwise Winter Stakes (1400m).

Bott revealed that Riodini suffered a setback in training earlier this year which forced the four-year-old to miss the autumn carnival.

But Riodini showed his potential last spring when he ran a close third in the Epsom behind Probabeel and Funstar. He hasn’t raced since finishing unplaced in Colette’s Golden Eagle eight months ago.

Riodini (left) finished third to Probabeel (right) and Funstar (centre) in the 2020 Epsom. Photo: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“We are really happy with how Riodini is coming up but after such a long break, he will obviously be improved by the run,” Bott said.

“He’s had two barrier trials so he is ready to go to the races and from Saturday he will go to the Winter Challenge at Rosehill in two weeks.

“The plan is to get him up and going prior to the (spring) carnival and then we will follow a similar campaign to last spring when he ran so well in the Epsom Handicap.”

Riodini is a rising five-year-old but has only had 10 starts, winning four and twice being placed at Group 1 level, and Bott believes the gelding can be one of Tulloch Lodge’s leading big-race contenders next season.

In latest TAB Fixed Odds betting, Riodini is at $11 behind classy Melbourne mare Rubisaki at $3.90 favourite.

Patrick Payne, trainer of Rubisaki, welcomed the likelihood of a heavy track with rain forecast in Sydney on Friday and Saturday.

“Rubisaki excels on wet tracks and we felt this is a logical race for her but this is a good field,” Payne said.

Classy mare Rubisaki is unbeaten in two starts at Randwick and will relish a wet track. Photo: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“She is an absolute sweet heart to train and handles the travel well so we are happy with her going into Saturday’s race.”

Rubisaki won eight of her first 11 starts including the $1 million Inglis 3yo Sprint, Group 2 Kewney Stakes, and Group 3 wins in the Bell Stakes and Carr Stakes to end her three-year-old season.

But she has been winless in seven starts this season although she managed a third at Group 1 level behind Instant Celebrity in the Sangster Stakes and successive seconds placings at Flemington in recent weeks.

“I feel it took her a bit to adjust going from three-year-old fillies races to open company this season but she is learning to deal with it,” Payne said.

“She did have a little injury in the spring and that gave us a bit more time to let her furnish. Even when she won all those races as a three-year-old, she was still on the immature side.

“It will be interesting to see how she measures up in Sydney but I think she will run well.”

Adrian Bott expects a strong run from Major Artie who had little when resuming at Rosehill recently. Photo: Grant GuySource:The Daily Telegraph

Meanwhile, the Waterhouse-Bott stable’s other Randwick runner is Major Artie ($8.50) in the Ranvet Handicap (1500m).

Major Artie resumed with a seventh of eight behind Patino Ruby at Rosehill two weeks of ago but the gelding’s effort was far better than it reads on paper, according to Bott.

“If you watch the stewards head-on vision, Major Artie comes out of the barriers and nearly fell,” Bott said.

“He didn’t really take part in the first half of the race. He gave then a big head-start and ran on well. It was a very good run.

“This time, he’s out over a touch further in distance (up 200m) and is in very good shape.”

Bott also revealed the stable’s outstanding two-year-old and last start JJ Atkins winner, Converge, has returned to Tulloch Lodge after his winter break and is being aimed the Group 1 Golden Rose during spring.

Converge has been back in work for nearly a week and is due to barrier trial early next month.

“At this stage, he is heading to the Run To The Rose and then the Golden Rose,” Bott said.

“We will map out a program after that but we are leaning to taking him to Melbourne.”

From the Golden Slipper to the championships, Sky News takes a look back at the wonder of the Autumn Racing Carnival….

From the Golden Slipper to the championships, Sky News takes a look back at the wonder of the Autumn Racing Carnival.

Originally published asEpsom redemption the goal for Riodini

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