Ryan to end winter in blaze of glory

Gerald Ryan isn’t finished with the winter carnival in Queensland just yet and hopes to end it in a blaze of glory at Caloundra on Saturday.

Ryan, who won the Group One Winter Stakes with Melito at Eagle Farm last Saturday, is chasing his first Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) win with Ironstein while Adnocon will carry the stable’s fortunes in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m).
The Sydney trainer has been in great form this winter winning the Group Two Queensland Guineas at Eagle Farm and Group Three Lord Mayor’s Cup at Doomben with Rothesay while Adnocon claimed the Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich.

Melito broke a string of four Group One placings including the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap with her second Group One win in the Winter Stakes.

The mighty filly’s previous win at the elite level was in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick in April.

Ironstein, a Michael Cahill mount, was transferred to Ryan after failing at his first four starts for trainer Brian Jenkins in Victoria.

Ryan believes the five-year-old is capable of making the transition to Listed company following his past two wins at Rosehill before heading for next month’s Listed Grafton Cup (2350m).

Ironstein is part-owned by advertising guru John Singleton who raced the gelding’s mother Gentle Genius, a Group Three winner who was narrowly beaten by champion Sunline in the Group One The Coolmore (1500m) at Rosehill in 2002.

Ironstein has won four of his nine starts for Ryan including his first run for the stable at Canterbury last October.

“When he first came to me I was told he was the slowest horse ever to come out of Singo’s Strawberry Hill Stud,” Ryan said.

“He’d had four runs in Melbourne and shown nothing so I just sent him for a spell as soon as I got him.

“The closest he had finished was a third in a field of six at Kyneton and he was beaten more than seven lengths.”

Ryan credits Ironstein’s form turnaround to maturity and his mental attitude.

“He was just immature. I didn’t do anything different with him and just sent him for a spell,” he said.

“He won his first two runs at Canterbury and Kembla for me and we set our sights on the Caloundra and Grafton Cups after he ran third at Rosehill in January.

“He’s only had four runs this campaign and the only concern I’ve got with him on Saturday is whether he’ll run 2400 metres.

“He gives the impression he’ll run it and he’s definitely up to the class.”

Ryan has booked Glen Colless to replace suspended rider Paul Hammersley on Adnocon in the Glasshouse Handicap.

“He pulled up well after his Eye Liner win and his work has been terrific since then,” Ryan said.

Adnocon is a four-year-old gelding by Clang who is also the sire of sire Black Piranha who won his second Group One Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm earlier this month.