Suliman was a popular winner at Te Rapa yesterday.
The only disappointing aspect of promising stayer Suliman’s win at Te Rapa yesterday for co-trainer Graham Richardson was that he couldn’t be there to celebrate with the horse’s large group of owners.
Richardson was in Brisbane with stablemate The Wildflower, who contested the Gr. 2 Brisbane Cup, but he managed to watch Suliman produce a stirring late rally in the Phelan Racing Stables 2100.
The second win of Suliman's career prompted boisterous celebrations by the four-year-old’s large group of owners, who produced plenty of noise in the closing stages.
“They tell me they nearly lifted the grandstand roof with the cheering, which must have been a pretty cool thing to witness,” said Richardson.
“That’s what racing is all about, so I’m just thrilled for them as I think they might have a pretty good one on their hands when he fully matures.
“He has been a very hard horse as he gets agitated over little things and likes to throw his weight around at home. He’s not for the faint-hearted, but as he’s gotten older he has started to calm down a little and is more manageable these days.”
While the Redwood gelding has shown a real ability to handle winter tracks, Richardson believes he will also cope with the better surfaces available in the spring.
“He’s not just a mudder, and now he’s getting older I think you will see that in the next six months,” he said.
“I firmly believe he will go through the grades and can pick up a nice race or two along the way. We will keep him to his grade for the time being but later on I would like to target some of the Cup races with him.”
Richardson had been hoping for a big performance from The Wildflower but was left a little flat after her midfield finish in the Brisbane Cup.
“She didn’t really perform up to expectations as I thought she was primed for a big run,” he said.
“She just couldn’t sprint with them when the pace went on, and although she ground away well in the run home, she never really threatened the placegetters.
“She is going for a spell, so will have two or three weeks in the sun over here before she heads back to New Zealand.”
Richardson will now turn his attention to stable star Volpe Veloce as she prepares for the Gr. 1 Tattersall’s Tiara at Doomben on June 23.
“Volpe Veloce looks a picture and has come through her run at Doomben a week ago in good shape,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier with her, so now it’s just a matter of keeping her ticking over as we count down to the Tatts Tiara.”