By Ray Hickson
If there are any concerns about Golden Rose favourite Menari running out a strong 1400m they’re not coming from trainer Gerald Ryan.
Since the boom colt’s easy win in the Run To The Rose on September 9 attention has turned to whether he can stretch his brilliance out to seven furlongs.
Ryan said he’s never doubted Menari at the trip though the form guide will show he ran 10th in the Sires Produce Stakes in the autumn at his only attempt.
”He’s been strong through the line at the end of 1100m and 1200m so I have no fears,’’ Ryan said.
“I’ve got no worries at all. You never know until you try them and when he ran 1400m in the Sires’ it was on a heavy track when he’d had enough.’’
Menari’s dam Isurava was a Listed winner at her only attempt at 1400m.
Menari wins the Run To The Rose at Rosehill – September 9
If the colt takes out the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose (1400m) on Saturday he’ll be the first to sweep the Rosebud-Run To The Rose-Golden Rose series.
While we’re looking at the negatives, Ryan said he also has no concern about Menari’s awkward barrier (11) and is putting faith in in-form jockey Josh Parr to get the job done.
Menari was able to offset the outside gate in the Run To The Rose by sitting on the speed.
“It depends on how quick they go in the first half a furlong, I wouldn’t want to be in a speed battle,’’ Ryan said.
“I don’t want to see him boxed up, he’s a big striding horse who needs a bit of room. But at the same time I don’t want to see him three or four wide.
“There’s not much sense in thinking about the draw, you can’t do anything about it. Josh has a lot of confidence in the horse.’’
There’s been an interesting jockey carousel when it comes to Menari in his seven start career to date.
The general opinion out there is that Parr lost the ride on Menari for his unfortunate defeat in the Canonbury Stakes in January.
Ryan said that’s not quite the case and explains it this way.
“Adam Hyeronimus was supposed to ride at his first start. I asked him to trial the Tuesday before hand as other jocks were going to be at Magic Millions. He said he was going there too for a day out so I put (James Innes Jr) on him,’’ Ryan said.
“I can’t remember who was going to ride him in the Canbonury but they got suspended and that’s how Josh rode him.
“Then something else happened and Tim Clark rode him in the Todman. Tim was committed to Trapeze Artist so Corey Brown rode in Slipper and Sires.
“When he came back this campaign Kerrin McEvoy rode him in his first trial but when he was running first-up Kerrin was riding in England.
“I was going to go to the San Domenico and changed my mind and that weekend he was in Japan so Josh just stayed on.
“Josh comes in and rides work whenever I ask him to, that’s why he always works on a Monday or Friday.’’
Menari worked on Monday morning, with Parr in the saddle, over 1000m in around 1:07, running 23.75 for his last 400m and 11.19 for the last 200m.
Ryan said that’s fairly standard work for Menari.
While Menari naturally captures all the attention, Ryan warned not to underestimate stablemate Trapeze Artist in the Golden Rose.
The Black Opal Stakes winner ran fourth in the Stan Fox Stakes second-up and has drawn the outside in the 14 horse field.
“Because of the way I’ve gone with him to get to this race he’s flown under the radar,’’ he said.
“He’ll roll forward, he sat on the speed in the Slipper and Sires, so he’ll be up in the first four.’’