Right from the time he was a foal Riodini(Proisir[AUS]-Giardini) the winner of the recent Gr.3 Bonecrusher Stakes, was a horse with charisma.
“He was one of those foals with a personality a bit different from the rest, he always looked for you when you went in the paddock and would come over and say hello,” recalled Alan Galbraith who bred and races the horse with his wife Liz, daughter Cecilia and her husband Mike Lewis.
“We all liked him as an individual, but Liz particularly liked him for his personality. When the time came to select the yearlings to go to the sales that year, we decided to keep him and race him. Things like that never usually work out, all your hopes for a horse, but on this occasion it has.”
Galbraith a member of the Auckland branch of the NZTBA, and an Auckland based Queens Counsel, was referring to the fact that Riodini has now won four races from four starts with the last one being a group three.
Trained by Nigel Tiley at Pukekohe Park, Riodini made a winning debut on his home track in June as a late two-year-old with an impressive three-length win. He was then put aside and brought back in the spring to win a rating 65 1200 metre race at Tauranga by two and a half lengths, followed three weeks later by another win on that course over 1400 metres by four lengths.
Three weeks after that he took out the Bonecrusher Stakes also over 1400 metres in very dominant style, and in another three weeks will step up to the mile in the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas on New Year’s Day.
Riodini is the first foal from the Perfectly Ready(AUS) mare Giardini, who was raced by the partnership that now race Riodini. She was the winner of three races and is a half-sister to the Gr.2 Hawkes Bay Guineas winner Sir Andrew (by Sir Percy[GB]) and six other winners.
Her second foal also by Proisir(AUS) was sold at the Karaka last summer for $40,000 and she has a yearling filly by Vadamos(GER) which unsurprisingly the partnreship are going to keep. This year she foaled a colt to Vadamos(GER) and is now back in foal to Proisir(AUS).
Giardini is out of the Royal Academy(USA) mare Biennale(AUS) who was bred and raced by Galbraith and won three races from the stable of Chris Wood, who also trained her half-brother Des’s Dream the winner of nine races including the Gr.1 AJC All Aged Stakes.
They were out of the group one placed stakes winning Prince Echo(IRE) mare Echo Lass (ex Mohave[FR]) the winner of six races including the Gr.3 ARC Ladies Mile. Her full brother Life At The Top was also a stakes winner, while another half-sister left the stakes winning Zabeel mare Mohave Dancer, the dam of Natural Blitz.
Galbraith has a long association with Rich Hill Stud being a partner in the stud since its inception 25 years ago, about the same time as he purchased Echo Lass.
“My association goes back to when we bought the Evergreen Lodge property from Frank Wilson,” he recalled.
“John (Thompson) had been managing the property and I had got to know him and when the property came on the market Colin, John’s father, John and I bought the property at auction.”
The stud has grown from there over the years and now encompasses 320 acres on the outskirts of Matamata. Galbraith is still a partner in the stud along with Thompson and his wife Colleen. They currently stand five stallions Ace High(AUS), Satano Aladin(JPN), Shocking(AUS), Vadamos(GER) and Proisir(AUS).
“It’s a fickle game, when you are dealing with animals, we were very lucky the first stallion we got was Pentire(GB), and in association with Shadai Farm we bred a horse that went on to win a Melbourne Cup – Prince of Penzance, make history with Michelle Payne and then star in a movie. That is an awesome result. We didn’t realise how much we would miss Pentire(GB) until he was gone, we all got used to him just being around.
“Proisir is a nice horse and we were lucky to get him, we are very lucky and very pleased for Proisir(AUS) to breed his first stakes winner, it’s good for him of course,” said Galbraith with pride.
“It was Liz who suggested we should send Giardini to Proisir, she had seen him race in Australia on TV, and was always impressed by him, and I was happy to send her there.”
A son of the amazing sprinter Choisir(AUS) descending from Te Parae Stud’s foundation Blue Hen mare Sunbride, Proisir was a group three winner in Australia and is a full brother to the Gr.1 Australian Guineas winner and sire Divine Prophet. He commenced stud duties at Rich Hill Stud in 2015, and Riodini is from his first crop.
“Riodini has a very nice nature and is a happy positive horse. Nigel and Lee and their team have done a really good job with him. He’s not big, I think he only weighs around 440kilograms, but he is athletic, and he has still got that positive attitude.
“He has done better than we could have hoped. He has had three runs this season and it’s definitely one race at a time. I have raced a few horses and know not to get my hopes up too high. What we have said to Nigel is to do the right thing by the horse. Look after the horse and see what happens, and just enjoy it,” said Galbraith very much the pragmatist.
“It’s actually quite stressful having a good horse, when you have an average horse you are just hopeful you can win a race, and you get used to being hopeful. But with a good one it’s quite stressful, but in a good way.” - Michelle Saba