Con Karakatsanis was thrilled to see Riva De Lago win impressively at Rosehill on Saturday but his emotions were far different a few hours earlier.
Talented galloper Howmuchdoyouloveme collapsed with heat stress shortly after finishing runner-up to Star Mystery in the third race.
“He was going back to the horse stalls and he just collapsed and was down for about 20 minutes,” Karakatsanis said.
“I thought he was gone. I was not well either. When you see a horse you think so much of down on the floor, it’s not good.
“The heat got to him and he was dehydrated.”
Veterinarians placed the three-year-old on a drip immediately and Howmuchdoyouloveme was later taken back to Karakatsanis’ stables.
“He’s recovered enough to go back to the stable,” he said.
“We’ll keep a close eye on him and make sure we get as much fluids into him as we can. Fingers crossed he pulls through it all well enough to come back a nice horse next preparation.”
Chief steward Ray Murrihy said four horses suffered heat stress on Saturday despite the temperature only being in the low 20s.
“The temperature was only about 22 degrees but it’s a lack of any breeze and the humidity,” Murrihy said.
Karakatsanis’ day brightened with Riva De Lago, who is being aimed at next year’s Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) after proving he was a horse on the rise with an easy win in the Vincents Forensic Accounting Handicap (1350m).
Riva De Lago showed his dominant first-up win at Randwick two weeks ago was far from a one-off as he sat midfield and then swept past his rivals to score by two lengths from Coup Ay Tee.
Karakatsanis said the four-year-old, who was gelded prior to this preparation, was likely to have just one more start before being spelled.
“The Stradbroke next year, that’s where we are headed,” Karakatsanis said.
“I know it’s a long way away but I still wanted him to show today that he’s on the way there. He’s not letting me down.”
Karakatsanis has won the Stradbroke twice with Black Piranha in 2009 and 2010.