Former star jockey turned trainer Nick Ryan knows fortunes can quickly turn in racing but he’s keen to ride his winning wave for as long as it lasts.
Ryan won the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership as an apprentice in the 2004/05 season before rising weight prompted his early retirement from the saddle after riding more than 500 winners.
Ryan has quietly built his name as a trainer at Caulfield in recent years but has made an impressive start to 2021.
Four of Ryan’s last six runners have won, including last Saturday’s impressive Caulfield winner Regardsmaree, who could have a crack at becoming the trainer’s first Group 1 winner in the winter.
“There might be a little Queensland trip for him. That could be the making of him,” Ryan said.
“He might even get into a Stradbroke with a light weight. Who knows?”
Ryan hasn’t ridden in a race since 2009 but rides his horses in their final gallops before they race.
He said getting a first-hand feel of his runners is a key in his placement of his horses.
“I ride work, in trials and everything else. I think that’s my biggest asset,” Ryan said.
“Every horse in the stable, I do their last gallop and get a good idea whether they will go to the races and be competitive or not.”
Impressive Pakenham winner Grand Pope is one of the entries in Saturday’s Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes at Caulfield. Photo: Ross Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Ryan’s desire to ride his own runners in their final gallops means he only has limited numbers in his stable. But he said that was the perfect set-up for him in a tough game.
“I’m a pretty modest guy and, even when I was a jockey, I’ve never gotten ahead of myself, I just show up to work every day.
“I think that’s one thing in this game, you can never get ahead of yourself, because there’s no better leveller that horse racing.
“That’s our biggest attribute. We’re very hands-on.”
Ryan could chase his second stakes win as a trainer with Grand Pope in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Saturday’s Flemington meeting.
Grand Pope was an impressive maiden winner when resuming at Pakenham on January 28, which convinced Ryan the son of More Than Ready could measure up in harder races.
“He’s another one that I think is stakes class going forward,” Ryan said.
Ryan has also entered Regardsmaree and stable stalwart Mahamedeis for a 1400m Open Handicap.
Originally published asRyan to keep riding winning wave
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