Riodini in ‘good order’ ahead of Apollo Stakes

Riodini will be vying to take home the lion’s share of the A$7.5 million on offer in the Golden Eagle at Rosehill on Saturday. (Trish Dunell)

Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott are hoping their consistent galloper Riodini can get back to winning ways when he resumes in Saturday’s Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick.

The five-year-old gelding was winless during the 2021 Sydney Spring Carnival in seven starts, but he did run gallantly on two occasions, finishing a narrow second to the then in-form Think It Over in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), before being beaten three-quarters of a length to Verry Elleegant in the George Main Stakes (1600m) at Group 1 level.

The son of Proisir has had two trials in preparation for Saturday’s first-up assignment, running fourth behind Nature Strip on January 17, and then winning his latest 1000m trial on January 31 at Rosehill Gardens.

“Whilst he wasn’t winning, he ran some excellent races in Group 1 company,” co-trainer Bott told Sky Racing.

“He’s back in good order.

“In his two trials, he ran excellent, so he should be nice and forward for his first-up run over 1400m.”

Having ridden the former New Zealand galloper in his past four starts and in both trials, Rachel King will retain the ride aboard Riodini in the Apollo, which should aid his winning chances.

From barrier nine, it is expected that Riodini will take up his favoured roll, and look to lead the field of 14, which is made up of seven Group 1 winners.

Think It Over is looking to continue on his winning ways from the spring and resume as a winner, with Sportsbet opening the Kerry Parker-trained gelding as the $4.20 favourite ahead of Verry Elleegant ($5) while Riodini ($8.50) and Maximal ($8.50) share the third line of betting and Colette ($9) rounds out those runners in single figures.

Waterhouse & Bott will also saddle up Vangelic in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) in what will be her first run for the autumn.

The four-year-old mare was last seen running third in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) on October 30, when 1.7 lengths behind I’m Thunderstruck.

The daughter of Vancouver comes into the Triscay with just one trial under her belt, when finishing second, seven lengths behind the race-fit Capital Reign.

Vangelic will once again have the services of Tim Clark, while she is also likely to lead from the inside barrier in her quest to win her first race at Royal Randwick at her tenth start at the track.

“She’s had one trial, she had an exhibition gallop at Warwick Farm the other day,” Bott said.

“She’s back in great shape; nice and forward for her first-up run, and always races well fresh for us.”

Vangelic is currently a $21 chance in the Triscay Stakes, with Snapdancer the $3.80 favourite.

Also resuming in that race is the unbeaten winner of the 2020 The Kosciuszko, It’s Me.

The Brett Cavanough-trained five-year-old has not raced since her win in the $1.3 million country feature, as she suffered an injury which put her racing career on hold.

The daughter of Shamus Award was a recent trial winner at Scone on January 28, and looks ready to return to the races in her quest to remain undefeated.

It’s Me is currently the $4.80 second favourite, just half a point ahead of Promise Of Success ($5).

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