Sydney jockey Brenton Avdulla is confident that Howmuchdoyouloveme has the class to win back-to-back Ramornie Handicaps despite having to carry the top weight of 60.5kg.
Howmuchdoyouloveme will smash the Ramornie Handicap (1200m) weight carrying record currently held by the Jackal, who carried 58kg to victory in 2007, if he is successful in the Listed race tomorrow.
Avdulla has developed a close bond with Howmuchdoyouloveme, having partnered him in all but two of his career starts, and can’t wait to get back on board after missing the gelding’s latest win in the Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm last month.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for him, he has been a big part of my career,” Avdulla told TVN.
“He won the race last year in good fashion with 54kg.
“I think if there is any horse that could set a weight carrying record it would be him, he is such a big boy, he has proved he can carry weight.”
Howmuchdoyouloveme had a tough Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, which was disrupted by a move to the stable of new trainer Tina Cotsiopoulos after Con Karakatsanis was banned for his part in the tubing controversy on Derby Day, but Avdulla believes the son of Written Tycoon’s performances were better than they appeared and is delighted he has returned to his winning ways in the winter.
“There was nothing wrong with how he was in the autumn, he was just in a lot stronger races,” Avdulla said.
“He was taking on Group 1 fields, he got beaten in track record time when Snitzerland won the Group 2 first-up and he went on to race in a couple more Group 1s, including races against Black Caviar.
“This preparation the concentration has been on just winning some races and he has been able to do that with big weights.”
Howmuchdoyouloveme heads into the Ramornie Handicap on the back of duel wins during the Brisbane Winter Carnival, just like he did when successful in the 2012 edition of the race.