Paws Of Thunder Hero Runs ‘Riot' In Return

PAWS Of Thunder victor Dutch Riot took up where he left off when resuming at Horsham last week, extending his winning streak to six.

PAWS Of Thunder victor Dutch Riot has taken up where he left off by securing back-to-back Horsham victories at his first two appearances since claiming Group 1 glory back in January.

After almost six months on the sidelines due to a back muscle tear, Dutch Riot ($1.40), trained by breeder Colin Bermingham, resumed at Horsham last week and outclassed his rivals in a slick 23.13.

The regally related son of Fernando Bale and G1 winner Blue Sky Riot returned to the same venue on Tuesday and made it seven straight wins with a Best Of Day 22.97 performance over 410m, his 15th win from 23 starts.

"It's been a long road back – it took a bit longer than we expected," Bermingham explained.

"It's just a process, you've got to keep breaking the scar tissue up.

"There's no substitute for getting behind the lure but he kept tearing scar tissue and each time that happens it sets you back a couple of weeks.

"He doesn't work super at home, but when you get him behind a lure he's only got one speed and that's top gear!

"You can't tell him you only want him to go 70 per cent today. He's got that real will to win and that's one of the reasons it's been hard to bring him back.

"He trialled 21.70 at Ballarat, but pulled up with some swelling and bruising, so we played it safe and kept him on the lead for nine days before his first run.

"He definitely gassed himself in the straight – it's a tough run at Horsham – but he'll be better for the run and the main thing is that he's back."

Unfortunately for Bermingham and wife Sandra, their home-bred star has missed 10 of the last 12 months due to injury, starting only seven times – all wins – since September 1 last year.

Dutch Riot was initially sidelined for three months due to calcification from a previous injury, but returned in sensational style to claim the Paws Of Thunder and break Warrnambool ‘s 450m record (24.66).

His injury curse then struck again, costing him a berth in the G1 Temlee on the opening night of the Australian Cup Carnival.

"Both times he's been hurt it's been on the verge of a Carnival," Bermingham offered ruefully.

"Last year he missed the Melbourne Cup Carnival and this time it was the Australian Cup, and he also missed the Easter Egg.

"We'd just got the invitation for the Temlee and I was in the office getting suited up for my jacket, but 20 minutes later he was injured in a trial. 

"It was the classic dog scenario, but we're just looking forward now."

The Berminghams have every reason to be optimistic about making up for lost time in the second half of 2024.

Dutch Riot's initial target is likely to be the G1 National Sprint Championship, while a second Melbourne Cup triumph – they owned 2019 winner Whiskey Riot – is very much a realistic goal.

"We're not looking too far ahead, but the plan is to try and get him ready for the National Sprint Championship (heats, August 1)," Bermingham said.

"We'll probably give him one more one-turn run after Tuesday and then take him to Sandown and he'll tell us if he's ready."

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