By Ray Hickson
From the day after The Everest, trainer Gerald Ryan had one plan for classy sprinter Deploy and he hasn't deviated an inch ahead of his return at Randwick on Saturday.
What might change after the Group 3 $150,000 ACJC Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) is the direction Deploy is sent in.
Ryan has two options in place for Deploy, depending on what he sees at Randwick, being the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) or the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
“That's been the plan right from when he went out, to run first-up here then decide between the Newmarket and Canterbury because they are on the same day,’’ Ryan said.
“He’s going to have to step up if he wins on Saturday.’’
Deploy, with the steadier of 59.5kg, is the dominant $2.80 favourite with TAB for his first run since running ninth in The Everest.
Aside from The Everest, which was indisputably Group 1 quality, Deploy is yet to be tried at the top level.
He’s the Randwick 1200m course record holder from his win fresh in the Show County back in August and Ryan said he’s in great shape after trialling at Rosehill on February 5.
The gelding finished fourth behind Redzel in the 1000m gallop without his blinkers on.
What did you make of Deploy's barrier trial at Rosehill on February 5?
“I thought he trialled really well for him, he’s never been a good trial galloper,’’ Ryan said.
“They ran 58.2 with the rail out, you put that on the inside rail and they've probably run 57.2. He'd never run that in a race.’’
Ryan will have a clearer picture of where Legend Of Condor stands in the Golden Slipper picture after his first-up assignment in the Pierro Plate (1100m).
The youngster won the Victory Vein Plate on debut back in October and is the $2.90 favourite on Saturday as well as a $16 chance in the Slipper.
“There's a lot of nice two-year-olds around, you have to sum them up as they go through,’’ Ryan said.
“There hasn't been a dominant one yet because not many of them have had more than one or two starts.’’
In the Victory Vein, the colt ran the fastest sectionals in the first 400m of the race with Punters Intel revealing he clocked 13.27 from the standing start then 10.52 from the 800m-600m before holding on to win.
Ryan said while Legend Of Condor has drawn to lead the colt has had plenty of practice racing off the pace at home.
“On paper he doesn't have to lead, he's settling behind horses on the track and running past them,’’ he said.
“He’s a nice horse and he’s going well.’’
Ryan said he would decide prior to scratchings whether the in-form Star Of Monsoon takes his place in the Mostyn Copper Group Handicap (1200m) while he expects Mariquita to be finishing strongly first-up in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes.
“She always takes a run to come to hand and because of her racing pattern she has to rely on how the races are run,’’ Ryan said of Mariquita.
“She'll probably run the best sectional in the race.’’