Willinga diamond in Rufio

Image: Steve Hart

Willing Rufio’s four-year-old Dundeel stamped his class at Warwick Farm with a scintillating display to open his spring campaign.

Control [email protected] Handicap (1600m) throughout, Willinga Rufio ($1.95 fav) stretched his record to three wins from four starts, expertly judged by Tyler Schiller, to a 2-3/4 length win over Kokoro ($3.80) with Estreet ($26) up close. in the third.

Trainer Mark Newnham has high hopes for Willinga Rufio but is happy to be patient for now, saying he will give the horse time to master his craft before potentially raising the bar to stakes level.

“This horse is a very decent horse,” Newnham said.

“Some of his work after a little break was exceptional. I think he will get to a really good level.

“You can see there that he’s not quite sure what he’s doing yet, but it’s the raw talent that gets the job done.

“We’re not going to aim too high for now, we’re going to keep leading him on his marks and he can earn a fair bit of reward and then we’ll aim for something later in the carnival.”

Chris Waller also fielded a pair of promising horses at Wednesday’s meeting in richly bred stallions Redeiner and Great Barrier Reef who broke their maidens in successive races.

Out of a half-sister to Snitzel, Redoute’s Choice did good work for Redeiner to overcome confusion in the run and make a late break for Hugh Bowman.

Great Barrier Reef is also bred in purple I Am Invincible out of the classy mare Cosmic Endeavor and Bowman says the three-year-old has the talent to get to blacktype level if he puts his mind to work.

“I have no doubt he has it in him,” Bowman said.

“He’s been a bit elusive when he’s been at his best in races, but today is a good start.

Bowman and Waller finished the afternoon with a winning treble courtesy of the talented four-year-old Democracy Manifest, a jockey and trainer who shot to the fore on the 11th birthday of their former champion Winx, who is heavily in colt by Pierre.

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