Riodini returns to New Zealand

Riodini winning the Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m). Photo: Trish Dunell

Group One performer Riodini has returned home to New Zealand and will rejoin former trainer Nigel Tiley’s Pukekohe stable in the new season.

The son of Proisir was a standout youngster for the South Auckland horseman, winning his sole start as a juvenile before impressing in his three-year-old term with three successive victories, including the Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m), before placing in the Group 2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m).

“He was a pretty exciting horse,” Tiley said.

“Alan Galbraith (breeder-owner) had races that he wanted to target (in Australia) and we had problems with COVID and me having to be away for an extended period of time. The sensible thing was to find a good home for him over there and see what he was capable of.”

Riodini was subsequently transferred to the care of Sydney trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, for whom he won the $1 million The Gong (1600m) and placed in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m), Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m), Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), and Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m).

Galbraith made the decision earlier this year to bring his gelding home to New Zealand and he thought it fitting that Riodini would end his career where it started, in Tiley’s care.

“Alan Galbraith sent me a text to see whether I would take him back, so that was pretty awesome,” Tiley said.

“Unfortunately, he is like a lot of horses that have probably reached a mark in the handicap where they are a couple of lengths off the best of them.

“I think with him being back in New Zealand, he is going to be extremely well placed at weight-for-age.”

Riodini is currently enjoying a spell at Rich Hill Stud in Waikato and will rejoin Tiley’s barn after he returns from a couple of months in Queensland with his wife Lee.

“The plan is to send him to do some pre-training. We get back at the end of August, so he will probably be ready to come back to the stable in mid-September,” Tiley said.

“Alan’s plan with him is a race like the Captain Cook Stakes (Group 1, 1600m). I also think that sprint at Te Rapa (Group 1 BCD Group Sprint, 1400m) will be a good race for him because I have always been of the opinion that his optimum distance is 1400m.”

Riodini will make up just half a dozen horses in Tiley’s care and he said he is enjoying the quieter life of focussing on quality over quantity.

“We will only have about six on our books when we come back,” he said. “It is just Lee and I doing it now, so it just makes life easier for us.”

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