Rich Hill graduates chasing feature prizes

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Surprise Baby

A trio of New Zealand’s Rich Hill Stud graduates will be vying for top honours in Group 1 features in Australia this coming week. Riodini and Albarado will be in action at Rosehill and Flemington respectively on Saturday while Surprise Baby will have a second crack at the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.

Riodini takes his place in the A$7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) off the back of a runner-up finish in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) and a third-placing in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m). “He’s from Proisir’s first crop and was bred by Alan Galbraith, who remains in the ownership, and he’s a share-holder in Rich Hill so it’s exciting for all concerned,” Rich Hill’s John Thompson said.

Following his courageous victory in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m), the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained Albarado is prominent in the market for the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m). “Peter Smith bred the colt and we sold him at Karaka on his behalf,” Thompson said.

Albarado was knocked down to Busuttin Racing for $140,000 and is a son of the dual Group 3 winner O’Fille.

Rich Hill Stud’s home-bred Surprise Baby is shaping as a major chance in this year’s Melbourne Cup after his unlucky fifth-placing last year. His trainer Paul Preusker has by design only stepped his son of Shocking out twice since then with a sole focus on winning this year’s Cup.

He was runner-up when resuming in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) and while then unplaced in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), he was only a touch over two lengths off the winner after an interrupted run home.

“We had a great result in the Cup with the Rich Hill-bred Prince Of Penzance winning in 2015 so we’re looking forward to Surprise Baby running on Tuesday and, hopefully, a top result for Shocking,” Thompson said.

Shocking, the winner of the 2009 Melbourne Cup, stands at Rich Hill Stud for a fee of $8,000+gst.

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