Trainer Tony Karakatsanis and Black Piranha.
Trainer Tony Karakatsanis and Black Piranha. Jason Dougherty

A picture of equine health

FOR most racegoers it was their first glimpse of Ramornie favourite Black Piranha.

And the powerful black gelding, a dual Group One winner, didn't disappoint his legion of followers during an exhibition gallop between races yesterday.

Vantage points and the grandstand were lined with horse lovers and inquisitive onlookers.

The dual Stradbroke (2009-10) winner cantered a full lap with Matthew Bennett in the saddle, allowed rein only over the final 200m when he quickened noticeably under a tight grip by the Gold Coast jockey.

“The old boy looks a million dollars,” trainer Con Karakatsanis said.

“He's nice and fresh, just the way I want him.

“All we need now is some luck at the barrier draw and in running under the big weight (61kg).

“Matthew clicked him up the last furlong (200m). That's all I wanted, something to clean out his wind pipe.

“I couldn't be happier with him.”

Barriers draws for Wednesday's $130,000 WHK Ramornie (1200m) and $150,000 Wykes Tyrepower Grafton Cup (2350m) will be conducted this morning prior to the Patinack Farm Barrier Draw luncheon at the racecourse.

Michael Rodd has been booked for the seven-year-old. Rodd also picked up a late booking for the Bryan Guy-trained Shuffle The Cash in the Grafton Cup.

Bennett joked on dismounting from Black Piranha.

“Hopefully Michael gets sick so I can ride him,” he said tongue in cheek.

“He felt beautiful. The good ones feel different. The closer he got to the winning post, the faster he wanted to go.

“Wish I was riding him.”

Black Piranha has to create a modern day weight carrying record to win the Listed Ramornie and he's never won over 1200m.

Karakatsanis's father Tony revealed the gelding had put on “seven or eight kilos” since his eighth to Sincero in this year's Stradbroke.

“And his blood is the best it's ever been,” Tony said.

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