Riverton trainer Graham Eade is hoping to start the new year with a bang when he lines-up half a dozen runners at his home meeting on Saturday.
His charge will be led by Riviera Rock in the DT Kings Transport/Todd & Co Realty Summer Cup (2147m).
The seven-year-old gelding finished runner-up over 2200m at Wingatui on Boxing Day and Eade is confident he can go one better this weekend.
“He has come through his run at Wingatui really well,” Eade said.
“It was very tough considering the heat that day, he hates the heat. They had three goes at him during the race and he fought back. It was a tough run.”
Eade will be keeping a close eye on the weather in the lead-up to Saturday, hoping it fines up before the weekend.
“He will be very competitive on his home track,” Eade said,
“I just don’t know what is going to happen with the track, it is raining here quite heavily. He doesn’t like it too wet.”
TAB bookmakers have installed Riviera Rock a $2.20 favourite for Saturday ahead of last start winner Nesta at $4.80.
Stablemate Cosy Nook will also be trying to improve on his last start runner-up result when he contests the Forde Auto Services/Brendan Shearing Contracting (1400m).
“His work has been very good since his last start, so we are expecting quite a good run from him,” Eade said.
Cosy Nook will be joined by stablemate Lykher Highly.
“Lykher Highly was very disappointing (when on debut) because her work had been good up until that race,” Eade said.
“We put it down to track conditions. The rider (Krishna Mudhoo) said she felt really good going down to the start and felt very good in the first couple of hundred metres and then with the firmness of the track she couldn’t stretch out.
“But it was her first start and things do happen in their first start.”
Eade will also have a two-pronged attack in the Western Electrical/Grant Horrell Contracting (1600m) with Coda Bianca and Savez Vous.
“Savez Vous is looking for ground,” Eade said. “She is a nice horse but she is bred to stay so I would like to get her up to 2000m and have a decent look at her.
“Coda Bianca’s work has been alright. We are interested to see how she goes. We have given her a decent break and this is her first run back.”
Eade’s team will be rounded out by My Cashier in the Doug Horrell Contracting/Ricki Egerton Dagging LTD (2147m).
“My Cashier is just a grinder so the Riverton track should suit him,” Eade said.
“His track work never improves because he is so laidback. He has been working just his usual, but he is well within himself.
“That big, long straight at Riverton will suit him. Hopefully he can put his best foot forward.”