Exciting three-year-old Riodini. Photo: Trish Dunell
Riodini may have been beaten for the first time in his career in the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s day, but he lost no admiration from trainer Nigel Tiley.
The South Auckland horseman was pleased with his runner-up effort behind Dragon Leap and said he was a victim of how the race was run.
“I was really happy with it. I thought he got beaten by a very smart horse. He just had to do the donkey work for the rest of the field and drag them up to the leader, so he was a sitting duck for something to finish over the top of him.”
Tiley is looking forward to contesting the mile distance once again on Saturday with Riodini when he lines-up in the Gr.1 Woodridge Homes Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham.
While confident with his charge, Tiley is lamenting his outside barrier in the seven-horse field.
“I just wish he had a better barrier draw because we would like to ride him for a little bit of cover,” he said.
“We are probably going to have to come back a little further than we want to, just to try and get some cover with him.”
The Group One feature has attracted a small but select field, with Harlech a $2.40 favourite with TAB bookmakers ahead of Travelling Light at $2.90, with Riodini the third-favourite at $3.40.
“It’s a shame that for a Group One three-year-old race you can only get seven runners, but it’s a good field,” Tiley said.
Riodini is set to have a freshen-up before his next assignment, which could be the Gr.1 BCD Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa next month.
“I am going to drop him off for a few days break at Rich Hill Stud on the way home,” Tiley said.
“Depending on how he runs and how he comes through Saturday there is a possibility we might have a look at that 1400m Group One race at Te Rapa with him.”
Stablemate Ride The Wave will accompany Riodini on his Trentham trip where he will tackle the Raceform Premier (1200m).
The four-year-old gelding finished unplaced over 1500m at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and Tiley is hoping for a better result over the 1200m trip this weekend.
“He has learnt how to race now and I think he is just getting too strong,” he said. “We have just dropped him back in distance to see whether he might only be a 1200m horse.
“I am pretty optimistic that he is going to be hard to beat. He has drawn barrier three, so hopefully they will run along a bit and he will be doing his best work at the finish.”