Trainer Con Karakatsanis no longer has dual Stradbroke Handicap winner Black Piranha in his care but in the past week has produced two promising youngsters with hopes of filling that void.
On the back of lightly-raced Riva De Lago’s victory at Randwick last Saturday, unraced three-year-old Howmuchdoyouloveme justified his short quote of $1.45 when scoring an impressive debut win on the Kensington track on Wednesday.
“I’ve put very big wraps on him and he could be as good as anything I have trained,” Karakatsanis said after the gelding’s winning debut.
“He was the unwanted giant at the sales, my dad paid just $5000 for him.”
Eight-year-old Black Piranha recently went through the sale ring to dissolve a partnership and is now based in Victoria.
Last Saturday four-year-old Riva De Lago scored a dominant first-up win at Randwick and Karakatsanis has high hopes for both horses.
“Riva De Lago stepped up on Saturday and he (Howmuchdoyouloveme) is the horse on Riva De Lago’s heels that could really take the bull by the horns and say ‘I’m the one’,” Karakatsanis said, referring to who could fill the void left by Black Piranha’s departure.
Howmuchdoyouloveme was left to chase leader Platinum Choice in the R & W Northbridge Handicap (1100m) and he rounded him up in the straight to win by 1-1/4 lengths.
Later in the day, senior jockey Josh Parr picked up the winning ride on Tropicana Girl in an apprentices’ series race when Michael Grantham was unable to make the weight and no other apprentice was available.
Grantham was due to ride Tropicana Girl who had 56kg but informed stewards on race morning that he was unable to ride the mare at less than 58kg.
Western Australian-based Grantham, who is in Sydney on a one-month loan, will have to front stewards later this week.
“We’ll insist he comes and sees us before he accepts any rides,” chief steward Ray Murrihy said.
“We want to get him to come and stand on the scales to show us what (weight) he can ride at.”
Meanwhile, the Darley team has a big weekend ahead with star colt Helmet favourite in the Cox Plate but on Wednesday it was two three-year-old fillies who showed their potential.
Well-bred Sindarin was impressive when narrowly winning the Bar Coluzzi Darlinghurst Handicap (1300m) on debut after missing the start by three lengths.
“That was a super debut,” top jockey Corey Brown said.
“The penny has nowhere near dropped with her yet but she is loaded with ability on that effort.”
Brown made it a double for Darley on staying filly Angelus who took out the Testlogistics Maiden Plate (1800m).
Stable foreman Brad Widdup said next year’s AJC Oaks or Queensland Oaks would be looked at for the filly.