BC Internationals: Juvenile Turf contender Rodaini

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

October 27th, 2016

Rodaini (far side) just prevails in the Flying Scotsman

If trainer Simon Crisford’s name sounds familiar, you probably remember him from his days as Godolphin’s racing manager. He’s since commenced a training career in his own right, and it didn’t take him long to produce a flagship runner in First Selection. Continuing his success in his second season, Crisford is now Breeders’ Cup-bound with Rodaini.

A Kentucky-bred by Exchange Rate, Rodaini was a $140,000 Keeneland September yearling who commanded $508,047 as a two-year-old in training at Tattersalls. He was accordingly ready to go in May, and justified favoritism in a three-way photo at Leicester.

Crisford brought him along steadily, one step on the class ladder at a time. Next time in a Lingfield novice, he had only one opponent to beat, and he galloped all over him with his ears forward like satellite dishes. Rodaini had to work much harder in a three-runner nursery (a handicap for juveniles) at Newmarket, but he ultimately got the job done.

Rodaini made his stakes debut in the Flying Scotsman during Doncaster’s St Leger Festival, and he was plucky to stay perfect in a messy race. The near-miss third, Larchmont Lad, went on to take the Somerville (G3), although I’d suspect he moved forward off this.

Now prepared to try Group level, Rodaini lined up in the October 8 Autumn (G3) over Newmarket’s Rowley Mile. Unfortunately, he had a rough go of it, from his tardy beginning to a bad stumble at the rear, and he was eased.

The original plan was to stick to Group 3 company for the October 22 Horris Hill (G3), but soft ground at Newbury prompted his withdrawal. He’ll get his preferred surface at Santa Anita, so connections have opted to take a swing at the Juvenile Turf.

Rodaini hasn’t been running in the same caliber of races as Intelligence Cross or Lancaster Bomber, but he brings experience and a likeable attitude. And Crisford’s strike rate isn’t easily overlooked.

Photo courtesy Doncaster Races via Twitter