By Ray Hickson
Trainer Gerald Ryan isn’t placing the bar too high for the return of classy sprinter Deploy at Rosehill on Saturday but says a top four finish would please him.
Deploy has only raced once since he contested the inaugural The Everest last year, finishing last in the Southern Cross Stakes in February, and has had surgery on both front fetlocks to remove bone chips.
So naturally Ryan is a little reserved as the six-year-old carries 61kg first-up in the Listed $140,000 Starlight Stakes (1100m).
“His 1100m form isn’t that crash hot and he’s always better after a race,’’ Ryan said.
“He hasn’t raced since February so he’s coming off a long break and he’s six now. Whatever he does on Saturday he’s going to improve off it.’’
The negatives aside, Deploy’s class is hard to ignore.
In the lead up to The Everest last year he posted course record wins in the Show County Quality (1200m, Randwick) and Theo Marks Stakes (1300m, Rosehill).
Deploy's first trial this preparation at Rosehill on November 19
Ryan said how the gelding has come back from injury is a positive, with two recent trials under his belt, and he’s pleased Deploy will be returning on a forgiving track after the midweek deluge.
“He trialled the way I wanted him to trial and he’s pulled up the way I wanted him,’’ he said.
“The softness in the track will help him, he’s back and going good and he looks well.
“I’d like him to run well and pull up sound, I’ll be happy if he runs top four. He’s giving 8kg to some handy horses as well as race fitness.’’
TAB has kept Deploy safe at $5.50 in the Starlight and Ryan warned not to underestimate stablemate Magic Alibi ($12) coming off a freshen up.
Magic Alibi posted an overdue Listed win back in June and was placed behind Invincibella in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes before losing a bit of form.
“She had a couple of weeks out and a quiet trial to pass a poor performance,’’ Ryan said.
“She’s not as good on very wet tracks, she’s okay on soft tracks but she always runs well fresh and at 1100m at Rosehill.’’
Ryan’s warhorse Red Excitement will need the early summer sun to dry out Rosehill if he’s to post his 15th career win in the Listed $140,000 ATC Cup (2000m).
The nine-year-old was beaten two lengths by Our Century over 1900m two weeks ago and drops 2.5kg but Ryan can’t ignore what the form guide says.
“He’s had 44 starts on good tracks for 13 wins and 15 starts on soft tracks for one win,’’ he said.
“He’s well but I need the track to get back into the soft range for him but he’ll run honestly again.’’
Stable star Trapeze Artist has walked back into Ryan’s Rosehill stable and the trainer says The Everest runner-up will start this prep at 575kg – 10kg more than when he arrived for his spring preparation.
Trapeze Artist is due to resume in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) in February.