By Ray Hickson
The rest of 2021 is all about momentum for in-form apprentice Brock Ryan as he strives to capitalise on the best month of his career to date in the season wrap at Randwick on Saturday and beyond.
It’s been a stop-start season for the 27-year-old who spent around half of the past 12 months on the sidelines through injury with a race fall in November and a broken leg in a trackwork fall in March.
But four winners on last week’s Rosehill program took his July tally to eight city wins and with an extension to his apprenticeship, which was due to finish on Saturday, until December 2 keeping his roll going is priority one.
“We’ve had a bit of luck and it’s continued over the past few weeks,’’ Ryan said.
“I’ve only been back riding eight weeks. To come back and hit form straight away has been really good and a lot of good trainers are supporting me.
“Hopefully it continues and I can come out of my time with a bit of momentum.”
Ryan still has plenty of use of his 2kg claim, he’s ridden 33 metro winners overall, and with most of his nine rides at Randwick in the market, including two pre-post favourites Skedaddle and Criminal Code, he can only hope to convert again.
“It was one of those days that everywhere I went things opened up and every decision I made was the right one,’’ he said.
“Of course I had the right horses underneath me to do it and on paper it’s a pretty good book of rides on Saturday.”
Les Bridge’s promising filly Skedaddle kicks off Ryan’s day in the ATC Thank You Stable Staff Handicap (1300m) and he’ll do it with confidence after her gutsy win at Kensington earlier this month.
The three-year-old was considered a speed machine based on her debut win and her trials but she showed patience and race sense to win impressively second-up and drops to 54.5kg with the class rise and the claim.
“She’s a lovely filly, Les has a pretty big opinion of her and she’s still probably six months away,’’ Ryan said.
“She always raced up on speed or leading and a touch overdoing things so it was a good opportunity to take a sit when I won on her last start and she came back underneath me and relaxed.
“There wasn’t much of a gap there but as soon as I gave her a squeeze she didn’t even hesitate to go straight through it. She would have learned a lot from that run and took confidence out of it as well.”
Skedaddle, $3.10 favourite with TAB on Thursday, has drawn ideally according to Ryan.
“She doesn’t fly out of the machine but she will muster after a few strides,’’ he said.
“I’ll be able to weigh it up in the first couple of hundred metres. If the speed’s on I’ll take a sit somewhere but if there’s nothing doing I’ll probably go forward and lead or be outside one and she should be hard to beat.”
Monegal ran above market expectation when she resumed with an eye-catching third at Randwick two weeks ago and Ryan says the track conditions will be ideal as she attempts to make a lie of her second-up record in the ATC Thank You Owners Handicap (1500m).
The mare produced a race best last 600m of 36.14 (Punter’s Intelligence) on the heavy track to go down in a blanket finish behind Vitesse but is yet to win in six attempts at this stage of her preparation.
“I think she’s much better on a good 4/soft 5, she’s not even close to as effective on heavy tracks it’s just she tries so hard she gets through it,’’ Ryan said.
“I’d expect her to go just as good if not better. She only had one jump out going into it so she would have taken a lot of benefit out of it.
Cuban Royale wins at Rosehill on July 24
“We have a better barrier this time and 1500m is probably her ideal distance.”
Brock Ryan’s comments on Perigord: “He’s one of those horses that if he begins well you’ve got to go with him. You have to find the rhythm where he wants to be on the day. If he flies out we only have the one turn I can take my time to come across, if he doesn’t jump hopefully we can find some cover and let him roll into it.”
On Cuban Royale: “It probably wasn’t the original plan to go to this race but Luke (Price) said he pulled up like he didn’t go around the other day. He looks like he should be right in the finish again. The way he won was pretty convincing, he was held up for a long time and he let down pretty good when he got the split.”
His other rides are I Am Capitan, Zing, Criminal Code, Ashman and De Grawin.