As she was coming through the ranks and making a go at training full time, Stephanie Bakranich was hopeful of landing a good horse to give her fledging career a kick along.
The Playing God gelding fortuitously walked into Bakranich’s stable three years ago and since then the pair has formed a formidable combination.
Since his debut at Pinjarra in 2019, Nerodio has been perfectly managed by Bakranich to currently race 27 times for 11 wins and 10 placings.
Their first big success came in the Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m)12-months ago, a race that Nerodio was good enough to defend in July.
Last Saturday Nerodio claimed a hat trick of Listed wins when he proved too strong for rivals in the Belmont Newmarket (1200m).
On his favourite track and on his preferred surface, Nerodio ploughed through the heavy 10 track rating to score by a clear 1 ¾ length margin.
Bakranich, based at Bullsbrook, branched out as a full time trainer after breaking in and educating young thoroughbreds.
She said finding the opportunity to train a horse of Nerodio’s quality early into her career has been a blessing.
“It sure has,” Bakranich told The Races WA.
“He was one of the very first horses I was given to train first off, he and Playing Marika.
“I’ve been extremely lucky as far as that goes, even though she (Playing Marika) is not as good as he (Nerodio) is.
“I’ve just been so fortunate to have a horse like him to train first off since getting my license.
“He has been exceptional right from the start, really.”
While she’s super proud on what Nerodio has been able to achieve on the racetrack, Bakranich is also quick to sing the praises of jockey Laqdar Ramoly.
The gun Mauritian-born hoop has played a pivotal role in Nerodio’s success over the past year and a half , guiding him to five wins and four placings from 12 rides.
Ramoly shares a special bond with the seven-year-old who gave him his first major success when as an apprentice he won last year’s Beaufine Stakes.
“He rides him fabulously and even as an apprentice it was never a consideration for us to take him off him for any of those races, even when we couldn’t claim.” Bakranich said.
“He has such a great relationship with him and rides him well.
“He has a high opinion of the horse, always asks about the horse when I see him at the track.
“Even when he’s not racing he‘s always asking about him, he’s got a good relationship with him.”
Nerodio has raced for the majority of his career at Belmont during the winter season, but Bakranich is hoping to have an impact at Ascot this year.
“I would love to get a couple of runs in at Ascot and win those Group races ,” Bakranich said.
“That’s where we are going to have to go because he’s only going to get out weighted in a lot of the Listed races.
“I don’t think we will go to the Idyllic Prince next, but I am always changing my mind.
“The early part of the Ascot season will be our biggest chance with him before the ground gets too hard.”
The Idyllic Prince Stakes is run over 1300m at Belmont on August 27.