Into The Red trainer no stranger to Ramornie success
RAMORNIE HANDICAP: Queensland trainer Kelso Wood admits today's $160,000 Crowe Horwath Ramornie (1200m) was an afterthought but he believes he has the right horse to win it in Into The Red.
The five-year-old gelding by Not A Single Doubt has the right formlines to write himself into the rich history of the Ramornie first staged in 1917.
"It wasn't until after he won the Healy that we really considered the Ramornie," Wood said. "It would certainly be a nice race to win."
Wood is no stranger to Ramornie success. He prepared High Classic to win the Listed event in 1980 and 1982. He knows what it takes to win the CRJC's premier sprint.
Into The Red burst into Ramornie calculations when, at his second run back from a long spell due to ligament damage at the back of his pastern, surged home to hold off a fast finishing Saluter and win the WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on June 25.
"It was a good strong win," Wood added. "And he's pulled up good."
Wood, a former jockey who trained in Sydney for many years before venturing to Brisbane in the 1980's, is no stranger to winning big races.
His best horse Unequalled won the 1993 Doomben 10,000.
And he knows the pain of defeat and loss too.
His horse Prince Regent was first past the post in the 1988 Magic Millions but later lost it on protest. Former stable star Murifield Village was taken off him and sent to Bart Cummings and later won a Group 1.
But through it all the diminutive Wood kept smiling and more importantly kept training winners, lots of them.
Into The Red cost "around $200,000" as a yearling and is raced by a syndicate headed by Brisbane based David Devine. He has earned $425,250 prizemoney from five wins and five placing's in 24 starts. According to Wood, Into The Red has come back a different horse this campaign.
"He's matured now, made all the difference," Wood said. "He's a much better horse for it.
"He's really good at the moment. He's ticked over well since the Healy.
"I'm happy with him."
Into the Red will be ridden by Luke Dittman, the son of champion Hall OF Fame jockey, Mick Dittman
The gelding holds favouritism at around $4.80 on TAB Fixed Odds betting.
Punters were quick to react when markets first went up on Monday, snapping up longer odds with last year's winner Rock Royalty and Tegan Harrison's mount, Tina Melina. The Liam Birchley trained Rock Royalty was backed from $71 into $17. "The original odds must have been a typo error," suggested NSW TAB spokesman Glenn Munsie tongue in cheek.
Tina Melina (Tony Gollan), was backed from $21 into $17. The four-year-old mare, an unruly barrier horse, will have the barrier blanket and blinkers removed replaced by pacifiers and ear muffs.