Rich Hill graduates chasing feature prizes

A trio of Rich Hill Stud graduates will be vying for top honours in Group One features in Australia this coming week.

Riodini (NZ) (Proisir) and Albarado (NZ) (Savabeel) will be in action at Rosehill and Flemington respectively on Saturday while Surprise Baby (NZ) (Shocking) will have a second crack at the Gr.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 Gr.2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) and a third-placing in the Gr.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 Gr.3 Caulfield Classic (2000m), the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained Albarado is prominent in the market for the Gr.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 Three 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 Gr.2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) and while then unplaced in the Gr.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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