Trainer Nigel Tiley isn't bothered by any Ellerslie debut hoodoo when Riodini finally makes it to the big city today.
He says the unbeaten favourite for today's Mitchell Family Bonecrusher Stakes takes everything in his stride.
Riodini opened a $1.50 favourite for the group three 1400m race as the trend continues of exciting three-year-olds emerging this season after very light or even non-existent juvenile exposure.
The poster boy for that pathway is of course Catalyst, along with top filly Travelling Light while horses like Loire and Harlech were only sighted a couple of times last season and it feels like almost every week a new, high-class three-year-old bounds onto the scene full of promise.
But not many can do what Riodini can do. The winner of his only juvenile start, when he thrashed a decent freshman in Sai Fah, Riodini has produced two stunning victories this time in for Tiley.
The latest was at Tauranga on November 16 when he overcame a sticky run to carry the 58.kg topweight to a four-length win. The numbers sound impressive, visually it was even more so.
Today he comes to Ellerslie for the first time and just a week ago punters got burned by another of the emerging three-year-olds in Dragon Leap going walkabout down the Ellerslie straight and costing himself certain victory in a very similar race to today's Bonecrusher.
Tiley admits the wide open spaces of the Ellerslie straight can distract first-timers but he doesn't expect it to be a problem. "It can catch some of them out because it is a long straight, very wide and has sometimes has plenty going on the other side of the inside and outside rails," says Tiley, who was a star jockey before he become one of our most astute trainers.
"So I know it can happen to young horses but I am not worried about it with him. Not much bothers him and I think he might be a really good horse.
"He is tough so the racing doesn't bother him. After he won that last race I wanted to give him an easy time to set him for the good three-year-old races but he came straight home that night and ate everything we put in front of him.
"He actually did so well I had to put an extra gallop into him last week to get him ready for this."
Riodini is being aimed at the $100,000 Jamieson Park Auckland Guineas on New Year's Day before Tiley even starts to think about extending out to a Derby distance.
"We really don't know about the Derby because you have to go a couple of generations back on his dams side to find one who has won past 1200m.
"But we will worry about that in the future."
Riodini, who has shown the ability to race handy before so should be able to use barrier three, won't just be given the winning stake for today's race named after one of our true equine heroes.
The small field contains some talent, including Rhaegar returning from an upside down Sydney spring campaign during which he still managed a fourth in the Ming Dynasty and two start fillies from the James-Wellwood stable in Amal Rose and Hastobegood.
But it will be a surprise is Riodini isn't still unbeaten when he gets home to Pukekohe tonight.
Not so certain is whether stablemate Demonetization even lines up in race seven, the Rating82 Dunstan qualifier.
Good enough to win the Guineas on the first day of last year, Demonetization is fresh up after a Queensland winter campaign and while Tiley is thrilled with his work this week he is worried about the very drying Auckland weather.
"I scratched him last week because the track got too firm for him so with the way the weather is up there he is not certain to line up again.
"But if he does he will be hard to beat because his work this week was the best it has been in a long time."
Ellerslie was a dead5 yesterday after 15mls of irrigation on Thursday night, with the rail to be out six metres today.
Punting at Ellerslie
• Best: Riodini (R4, No1): Has some real x-factor but the $1.50 might be too short for win punters. So make him your multi anchor.
• Next best: Swords Drawn (R2, No2): Won like a good horse over 1600m at Pukekohe last start and the step up to 2200m looks ideal. As for his price ... see above.
• Finding his feet: Pris De Fer (R7, No4): Camp confident they have finally got him showing his best. Strong to the line last start. If you jump on him take a saver with Demonetization (1).