Riva De Lago well in at the weights

In-form sprinter Riva De Lago will benefit from the conditions of the $100,0000 Anniversary Cup at the Sunshine Coast.

The majority of races in Queensland which carry $100,000 or more in prize money are stakes events in which apprentices are unable to claim.

However, while the Anniversary Cup (1400m) carries stakes prize money it is not a black-type race and Riva De Lago will get a weight relief of 1.5kg on his top weight of 59.5kg with Bridget Grylls to ride.

Trainer Robert Heathcote said Riva De Lago was now paying for his consistency but Grylls’ claim would be advantage.

“He probably isn’t up to the good Sydney and Melbourne sprinters these days. But the problem is he gets up in the weights here and it means we have to claim,” Heathcote said.

“Bridget can only claim 1.5 kilograms from now but she has had a good season and has ridden her share of winners for us.”

Riva De Lago, who won the Group Two Theo Marks Quality at Rosehill as a younger horse, has been in good form this campaign in Queensland.

He won the Listed Glasshouse Handicap at Saturday’s venue in May and has finished fourth, third and second at his past three starts.

While Riva De Lago won’t be returning south, Heathcote has Melbourne spring plans for several horses headed by Group One sprinter Buffering and consistent stakes performer Hopfgarten.

“Buffering will run in the Group One Moir Stakes at his first run in the spring,” Heathcote said.

“I have the Group One Rupert Clarke Stakes in mind for Hopfgarten.”

“He has twice won at Group Three level and he will have to prove himself and step up to Group One class.”

“But he reminds me of Solzhenitsyn. I am not saying he is as a good as Solzhenitsyn but they are similar types of horses.”

Solzhenitsyn won the 2012 Toorak Handicap and twice finished third in the Sir Rupert Clarke.

Another former Sydneysider, Malavio, also runs in the Anniversary Cup at his second start for Gold Coast trainer Mario Caltabiano.

The winner of the Group Three 2013 Tramway Handicap when in the care of Caltabiano’s former Warwick Farm trainer Steve Englebrecht, Malavio finished 13th in the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton earlier this month.


Story courtesy Mark Oberhardt   http://www.aapmegaform.com.au


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