Four-year-old Riva De Lago has gone some way to fulfilling his potential by taking out the It’s A Better Bet With A Bookie CTC Handicap at Randwick on Saturday.
The Con Karakatsanis-trained gelding settled seventh in the 1200-metre event and closed strongly from the 400-metre mark to win by four lengths at his first start since May.
Riva De Lago ($5.50), ridden by Jay Ford, had won just one of his first six starts but Karakatsanis said gelding the horse had really turned him around this preparation.
“He’s a serious horse,” Karakatsanis said.
“He’s always shown a lot of potential and being gelded has changed the horse’s attitude.
“He’s still not 100 per cent right in his coat, there’s a fair bit of improvement still to come which makes his win even better.”
Karakatsanis said he would consider taking Riva De Lago to Melbourne as a result of the first-up victory.
Meanwhile, the Guy Walter-trained Foxstar may have also earned a trip south after a dominant win in the Diona Rose of Tralee Handicap.
Walter said he may target the Group Two Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 5 following the five-year-old’s victory in Saturday’s 1600-metre event.
“We’ll think about the Matriarch, either that or maybe leave her an extra week and take her to Sandown,” Walter said.
He said he was especially pleased with Foxstar’s performance given she was backing up after racing in the Angst Stakes at Rosehill last Saturday.
“She’s had a lot of trouble with wet tracks, and she’s a mare that’s raced best when her races are spaced, but we felt we weren’t having much luck doing that,” Walter said.
“We’re getting to a stage in her career where it’s not possible to do that all the time.
“She’s come through with flying colours today, we’re very happy with her and the good thing about her is that she’s only lightly raced.”