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Consistent Riyadh scores at Flemington

Despite winning two races in Hong Kong, Riyadh is relishing life in Australia.

The Peter Healey-trained galloper picked up his biggest cheque since arriving in Australia after winning the David Bourke Provincial Plate at Flemington on Saturday.

Ridden by Jye McNeil, Riyadh was backed from $15 into $10 before scoring by a neck in front of Zagaya ($9.50), with $2.40 favourite Rewarding Effort three-quarters of a length away in third.

Mornington-based Healey said Riyadh had picked up a cheque at each of his 16 runs since arriving from Hong Kong.

“He’s been fantastic to us. A really good, consistent horse,” Healey said.

“We tried him last time as a stayer but he doesn’t quite get there so this year we’ve decided to keep him fresh and around 1600 metres and maybe up to 2000 metres.”

Healey said the gelding was bought for $100,000 in New Zealand before starting his career in Hong Kong in 2012.

Since joining Healey, the gelding spends 80 per cent of his time in the paddock.

Healey said he watched Riyadh’s progress in Hong Kong and after the gelding’s form began to taper off, he suggested the owner send him to Australia.

“The owner’s been good to us and we had Galbraith come back from Hong Kong and win five city races for him,” Healey said.

“In Hong Kong they were riding this horse wrong.

“You have to bring him back and let him travel.

“Wherever he’s comfortable, you have to take him back another length.

“Jye did it perfectly today.”

Riyadh’s win was Healey’s first at Flemington since Victory Sweep in May 2006.

“I had to get the map out to find the place,” Healey joked.

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