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Riva De Lago books berth in Randwick mile
Mandy Cottell
16:33 AEST Sat Sep 14 2013

Chris Waller has a confirmed Epsom Handicap runner in Riva De Lago, who booked his spot in the Group One field with a surprise win in Saturday's Sebring Sprint at Rosehill.

Rain Affair, a drifting favourite for the 1400m race, took up his customary role as leader but he had nothing in the tank when Glyn Schofield asked him to kick in the straight and tired to finish a well-beaten sixth.

Riva De Lago ($13) made his run down the centre and edged clear to defeat Solzhenitsyn ($5.50) with Your Honour ($11) running on from back in the field for third.

Winning trainer Chris Waller confirmed Riva De Lago would press on to next month's Epsom Handicap with the winner of the Sebring (1400m) exempt from a ballot for the feature Randwick mile.

"He's won over 1500 metres here at Rosehill and the normal pattern for our horses is they get over a little bit further as they get older," Waller said.

"He's won a Group Two here today so he deserves his chance in a handicap Group One."

Riva De Lago was second-up on Saturday after resuming with a midfield effort in the Show Country Quality won by Rebel Dane.

Waller was confident that form would hold up but admitted he was wary of taking on multiple Group One placegetter Rain Affair.

"It was the right race for him today over 1400 metres," he said.

"I was concerned about Rain Affair being in the race but I didn't worry about it too much, you've got to concentrate on your own horse."

Trainer Robert Heathcote was thrilled with Solzhenitsyn's effort in a race he said wasn't run to suit his charge.

He will be set on a similar path to last spring and head to Melbourne for the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Toorak Handicap.

"He probably raced a bit fresher and keener than I thought he would," Heathcote said.

"The horse is definitely better when he's ridden a bit colder."

Greg Eurell was also pleased with Your Honour's last 200 metres and is hoping he can find his way into the Epsom field.


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