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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis

RYAN HOPING TO UPSET THE APPLECART


WEDNESDAY: November 2, 2022: HAWKESBURY trainer Blake Ryan had no plans to focus on tomorrow’s feature $160,000 Lander Toyota Ladies Day Cup on his home track.

That all changed when he saw the nominations for the Listed event, and now he is hoping to upset the applecart with his $23 roughie Momack.

Brock Ryan, no relation to the trainer, goes aboard Momack, who was also an acceptor for the Irresistible Pools & Spas Conditional Benchmark Handicap over the same distance on tomorrow’s program.

“When I noticed there were only 14 entries for the Ladies Day Cup and some of them had raced at the weekend in Sydney and Melbourne as well as the Goulburn Cup and also at Randwick yesterday, I threw in a nomination for Momack,” Ryan said this morning.

“Of course he is outgraded and I’m not going there thinking he will ‘do a Dandy Andy’ (a reference to the $126 bolter’s Australian Cup upset in 1988), but 50-1 shots do win, so you never know.

“Momack ran very well first-up when placed at Hawkesbury over an unsuitable 1300m in an Open Handicap last month, and I’m completely forgetting his last start at Newcastle.

“Nothing went right that day when he was caught off the track without cover with 60kg.

“Momack has the limit (54kg) tomorrow, and he is the type who likes to get into a good rhythm up on the pace.

“He has won twice at 1600m, is in great order and is going as well as when he won a Midway Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens in May.

“It’s only a small field tomorrow and definitely worth at throw at the stumps, especially as he is on his home track and every runner will earn prizemoney down to $3500.

“At his third run back, I feel there will be less pressure for him in the Ladies Day Cup than in the other race (where Momack would have carried 58.5kg after a 3kg claim).”

Ryan has decided to race the gelding without pacifiers, which initially were used after he ran second in the Orange Cup Prelude (1600m) on March 20 and before he ran third next time out in the Gundagai Cup (1700m) on April 3.

Ryan is happy to have his namesake aboard Momack tomorrow, even though he has never ridden for him previously.

“Brock has ridden a few winners for Dad (Gerald Ryan) and Sterling Alexiou, and his manager contacted me about getting the mount,” he said.

“He can ride Momack at his 54kg, and not long after his manager got in touch, I watched Brock win a race at Kembla Grange.

“Hopefully, it’s a good omen.”

Momack, a $16,000 weanling purchase, has been a good earner for his owners, having won five races and collected nearly $160,000 (including a BOBS bonus).

Royal Randwick trainer John O’Shea and jockey Tom Sherry are attempting to win their second feature race at Hawkesbury this year with topweight and favorite Kirwan’s Lane.

The pair combined to land the Group 3 Richmond Club Hawkesbury Gold Cup with the gelding over the same distance at the Saturday stand-alone fixture on April 30.

He had 55kg and rises 4kg tomorrow, but the depth of the field certainly isn’t as strong.

Sherry has a brilliant record on 1600m specialist Kirwan’s Lane, having ridden him four times for three wins; his only loss being a sixth to yesterday’s $2m The Big Dance winner Rustic Steel in the Scone Cup after his Hawkesbury Cup triumph.

Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller has accepted with second favorite Lord Ardmore (Jay Ford) and third favorite The Frontman (Jason Collett) as he seeks a fifth Ladies Day Cup.

He previously won the race with Tromso (2013), Strawberry Boy (2014), Cellarman (2019) and Black On Gold (2020).

Both Ford and Collett are no strangers either to Ladies Day Cup success.

Ford won the 2016 edition on Group 1 victor Famous Seamus, and Collett partnered Duca Valentinois and Pecans in their 2017 and 2018 triumphs.

. The rail is 3m out from the 1100m to 450m, and in the TRUE position for the remainder of the circuit. Course manager Rick Johnston posted a “Good 4” rating this morning.

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