Trainer Robert Heathcote will send Riva De Lago straight to the Group 1 $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 6 after scoring an upset win in the Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday.
The former Chris Waller trained seven year old was sent out as one of the outsiders of the field at $26 when he finished too strongly to down the $3.20 favourite Time For War in the Listed $175,000 HMR Projects Pty Ltd Glasshouse Handicap (1300m).
Even though Riva De Lago was resuming from a spell, Heathcote was quietly confident that he would run a forward race and wasn’t surprised by the win.
“Even though he was at long odds I gave him a chance of winning,” Heathcote Racing Queensland news.
Heathcote will see how Riva De Lago pulls up and is leaning towards heading to the Stradbroke Handicap without another run.
“He loves racing fresh and I’m not discounting going straight into the Stradbroke next without another run,” Heathcote said.
“I know this horse well because he beat Solzhenitsyn in the (Group 2) Theo Marks in Sydney when he was with Waller.”
Last Saturday’s win was Riva De Lago’s first victory since winning the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill during the 2013 Sydney Spring Carnival.
The Encosta De Lago gelding, then trained by Waller, beat Heathcote’s Group 1 winner Solzhenitsyn so the leading Brisbane trainer knew that on his day Riva De Lago had plenty of ability.
Riva De Lago is still at long odds for the Stradbroke Handicap with Ladbrokes.com.au listing him as $41 chance.
The Ciaron Maher trained mare Srikandi heads the market order at $8 ahead of Knoydart and Lucky Hussler at $11, Our Boy Malachi at $12 while Black Heart Bart, Bring Me The Maid, Charlie Boy, Generalife, Lumosty and Rock Sturdy are all at $13.
The Stuart Kendrick trained Time For War is marked as a $21 chance for the Stradbroke Handicap.