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Riodini wins on debut

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Nigel Tiley-trained Riodini kicked-off his raceday career in perfect style at Counties on Thursday, winning the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1200m) and securing the $8,000 bonus for his connections.

The two-year-old son of Proisir headed into the race off the back of a 935m trial win at Cambridge last month and Tiley was pleased with his first-up effort, winning by three lengths over Sai Fah, with a further three lengths back to Ruby Negroni in third.

"He got to the line very well. I think he is a nice horse with a future, he’s really starting to go places. I look forward to him as a three-year-old," Tiley said.

"He has just been a bit slow to mature and he has been shin sore a couple of times.

"We will give him a little break and get him back for the spring. He’s a horse that is just going to get better with time."

Jockey Sam Spratt shared the same sentiments as Tiley and believes Riodini will mature into a nice three-year-old.

"He ran really well and I think he still had plenty left to offer me," she said. "The one draw was the biggest assist today, but he has been very well educated, which makes it easy.

"He was able to hop out and travel pretty willingly in the trail. I weighed my options up at the 600m with him, (with them) being three-wide in front, and I didn’t want to get stuck without getting a run, so I opted just to pop off and give him his chance to find the line. He was strong to the line, it was good.

"He has done a good job and I think he’s the kind of horse that will go on at three and be competitive in those good early three-year-old races."

Ticket to Ride a winner

The Keith Opie-trained Ticket to Ride secured her fourth career victory at Counties on Thursday when taking out the Lone Star Pukekohe 1600.

There was an early injection of speed in the race, with four horses contending for the lead. After initially sitting parked, jockey Darren Danis pressed forward to take control of the race at the 900m.

Ticket to Ride went clear in the straight to record a 2-1/4 length victory over Rippin, with Tipical a further half a head back in third.

Opie thought his mare would improve from her fourth-placing at Ellerslie earlier this month and that proved to be the case.

"Auckland the other day was a really good run and I thought today was her race to lose," Keith Opie said.

World Pool makes strong start

A new era in international racing got off to a strong start on day one of Royal Ascot (June 18) with the Hong Kong Jockey Club reporting a significant increase in turnover compared to the corresponding day in 2018.

In partnership with Ascot and Totepool, the HKJC has created the first ever pari-mutuel-based World Pool in which overseas wagers from the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Europe and the USA are commingled into Hong Kong’s pools directly or via Totepool to ensure maximum liquidity for a growing international audience.

Hong Kong has traditionally offered strong pools for Britain’s most famous Flat fixture but opening the market to international customers created significant extra interest, with total turnover on the six-race card up from HK$163.2m (NZ$31.8m) to HK$223.9m (NZ$43.6m).

The year-on-year increase of 37 percent resulted in almost HK$50m (NZ$9.7m) wagered on the Gr.1 St James’s Palace Stakes (1400m) alone as Circus Maximus was returned at 11/1 to complete a double for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.

"It was a very encouraging start, with total turnover of HK$223m (NZ$43.4m) including HK$52m (NZ$10.1m) from our international commingling partners," HKJC chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said.

"Our thanks go out to all those who have worked so hard to make our joint vision of World Pools come true and I am convinced that we have a very strong foundation to build on."

Ascot CEO Guy Henderson was also pleased with the success of the pool.

"It is a tremendous honour to provide the focus for the world’s first truly global pool," he said. "It is gratifying to see such increased engagement with the Hong Kong audience."

At this stage, the World Pool consists of four markets, namely those for Win, Place, Quinella and Quinella Place. However, Engelbrecht-Bresges feels the scope for expansion is notable.

"In time I hope our next step is to also open up our exotic bets to the World Pool," he said.

"Exotic pools such as the Tierce (first three in correct order) and Quartet (first four in correct order) offer high liquidity with large dividends and these areas represent another significant growth opportunity."

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