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  • John Curtis


THURSDAY: October 7, 2021: BLAKE Ryan had an empty stable when he took out his training licence at the beginning of the year and set up shop at Hawkesbury.

Now he has 23 horses on his books – including 16 in work – and celebrated his third success at Gosford today, scoring with recent acquisition Illustrating Law.

With Jason Collett aboard, New Zealand-bred Illustrating Law ($6) had an early tussle for the lead with eventual runner-up I’m Not Slew ($10) in the Maiden Handicap (1000m) before establishing a break at the 600m.

He kept going in the straight to shed his maiden status at only his third start – and the result had a real Hawkesbury flavour about it.

Scott Singleton, based for so many years at Hawkesbury and now at Scone, prepares the second placegetter, whilst long-time Hawkesbury trainer Mike Van Gestel has third placegetter No Statement ($14).

Ryan, an experienced horseman and no stranger to Hawkesbury after managing his Rosehill-based father Gerald’s second stable there for a couple of years, had instant success on his own when he scored with his first ever runner (Divine Future) at Orange in February.

Three months later, he also won with his debut provincial runner Shoeless Joe; fittingly on his home track in May.

And he was especially pleased to notch another success today, this time for Illustrating Law’s Chinese owner Zhongli Thoroughbreds.

“I got to know the owner through the annual Ready2Race sale, and he has supported me right from the start,” Ryan said on his way home from Gosford.

“I’ve got four horses in work for Zhongli, including the so far unraced three-year-old Critical Time, who is unbeaten in three trials, all at Hawkesbury.

“The 16 horses I have in work at present are mostly young horses. Illustrating Law is the only one currently racing, whilst my earlier winners Divine Future and Shoeless Joe are only a few weeks away from trialling.”

Illustrating Law, a three-year-old son of Showcasing, was purchased in New Zealand by Zhongli Thoroughbreds and found his way to former Sydney trainer David Vandyke, now based on the Sunshine Coast.

He trialled once, finishing fourth in an 800m heat at Eagle Farm in July, before being transferred to Ryan’s Hawkesbury stable.

“Illustrating Law hasn’t been the best in the barrier at his first two runs when he began slowly at Newcastle early last month and ran third over 900m, then began awkwardly when fourth over 1000m at Hawkesbury 19 days later,” Ryan said.

“He was a bit wound up at Hawkesbury that day because he didn’t have to travel far from home, but was much more settled today after the float trip to Gosford.

“Because of his natural speed, I’ll look for a Class 1 on tighter tracks such as Gosford and Wyong for his next run and see if we can get another victory.”

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