THE north is thriving in British Flat racing and among those leading the charge is trainer Kevin Ryan.
The exploits of The Grey Gatsby over the past three seasons have helped further establish Ryan stable as one to be reckoned with, while the sprinters and handicappers from the yard are always worth a second look.
Ryan’s son Adam has been an increasingly influential figure in the team and he spoke to us about some of the horses from his yard to watch this season.
What are your aims for the Flat season?
We tend to have the same aims every year. We want to get a Group winner on the board and to break the £1 million prize-money barrier. So we’ll be trying to keep the horses fit and healthy so they can run to their full potential for their owners.
Tell us about your stable star
Brando was extremely impressive in the Abernant at Newmarket. He’s a big, raw horse and he was always going to improve for the run. The way he quickened up was very impressive and he’ll run in the Duke of York next. He’ll go for all the big sprints through the rest of the season.
Which new horse has been catching your eye?
Ride Like The Wind joined us from France and was unlucky in the Cammidge Trophy. He’s got good form and goes for the Victoria Cup next. I think he’s a horse to stay on the right side of. Naadirr has recently joined us as well and his plan is the Wokingham at Royal Ascot. I’ve always liked the horse. He’s not the most straightforward but he travels well in those big fields and has a really good turn of foot.
Is there been a two-year-old who has particularly impressed you so far?
We’re only just starting to get going with them really. We’ve spent quite a lot at the breeze ups and have done well with horses from there before. Having said that, Luis Fernandez ran well at Beverley first time and is one to be with next time out.
And how about a three-year-old to follow?
Syphax is the main one for the year. He goes for the Dante next and we were pleased with his run at Newcastle. We had to start somewhere with him and William Buick was very complimentary about him. He felt the horse wanted to go up in trip so we’ll go for the Dante and see where we go after that.
Was there a horse who ran over the winter for you that surprised you with its progress?
Flaming Spear. He was one of the most impressive horses all winter on the all-weather. We could easily have gone for Finals Day with him but we think there’s a big prize on the turf to be won. We’ve given him a break and he could be one for the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.
And, finally, if you could have one horse from another stable, who would it be?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Churchill. I know there’s a few people that weren’t too impressed with his 2,000 Guineas win but I thought he was good and he’ll be better going up in trip as well by the looks of things.