Into Rio simply outstanding first-up at Cranbourne

Mar 09, 2018

He’s raw and gangly but Into Rio made up for that with determination in his fighting first-up win at Cranbourne.

The son of Zacinto showed enough in the spring for trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra to consider him a possible VRC Derby contender but the pair decided to give Into Rio a little more time.

Into Rio showed the benefit of the trainers’ patience with his super return to racing in the O’Brien Tarneit Grand Handicap (1500m).

Chris Symons made the trip to Cranbourne to ride Into Rio and was initially concerned the staying type could find the track too tight but the three-year-old always travelled kindly before outslugging a determined runner-up to score by a head.

“It was a great effort first-up,” Symons said.

“I thought this track might have been a little bit tight for him because he’s got an enormous stride on him.”

Symons said the pace of the race fluctuated but the overall tempo suited Into Rio. However, the jockey added Into Rio’s competitive nature got him over the line for his second win in seven starts.

“The race just panned out to his liking,” Symons said.

“I was able to come out at probably the 700m and I just wanted to get him into a rhythm and keep him balance. He just outstayed them.

“I think he got really competitive and knuckled down to the job. I thought the second horse was going to get me up the straight because I thought he’d be found wanting first-up.”

Symons said Into Rio would improve significantly on his Cranbourne win and looked forward to riding him over more ground on a bigger circuit.

Congratulations to Into Rio’s owners and all involved with the gelding’s outstanding first-up performance