Tag Archive for: Rossa Ryan

Going The Distance lives up to his name at Nottingham

Going The Distance could have a bright future having flourished in the mud to claim the British EBF Future Stayers Oath Novice Stakes on a wet afternoon at Nottingham.

Trained by Ralph Beckett, the son of Lope De Vega started his career by finishing third to David Menuisier’s Futurity Trophy-bound Devil’s Point at Ffos Las and then returned to the Welsh venue to open his account with a victory which was much more cosy than the winning distance of a neck would suggest.

Sent off the 11-8 favourite to add to his tally at Colwick Park, the Marc Chan-owned youngster took advantage of the late absence of the well-regarded Midair to hold off Hughie Morrison’s newcomer Surrey Fire at the finish.

“He knew his job today and I thought after Ffos Las (his first start) he would know his job,” said winning jockey Rossa Ryan.

“He was good (last time) when Laura (Pearson) rode him and he impressed me today, he’s just a good, honest horse. When I gave him the option to go, he stuck his head down and galloped and he doesn’t overdo things, he just jumps and travels at whatever momentum you want him at.

“He’s perfect really to ride and he’s done it well and I would say he looks like he has a bit to grow.

“I don’t think heavy ground is essential for him but he’s able to quicken on it. I imagine a trip next year won’t be a problem to him.”

The victory was part two of a double for the jockey who had earlier claimed the opening Trustatrader Apply Today EBF Novice Stakes aboard World Of Darcy for John Ryan.

World Of Darcy dug deep to win the opener at Nottingham
World Of Darcy dug deep to win the opener at Nottingham (PA)

Second in the National Stakes earlier in the season, the Soldier’s Call colt was in action over seven furlongs in the Tattersalls Stakes only two weeks ago, but thrived for the drop in class to register a confidence boosting success at 7-2.

The winning trainer said: “He’s only a small horse but his heart is in the right place and he can knuckle down in all sorts of ground. I don’t think he liked it really but was good enough to get through it.

“When we ran him over seven, Luke (Morris, jockey) said drop him back to six and get him some confidence because he had had a few hard days at work. Luke was right and Rossa gave him the perfect ride there.”

World Of Darcy holds an entry in York’s Rockingham Stakes on Saturday afternoon and that Listed event is one option connections will consider.

John Ryan added: “We’ve got a big entry at the weekend but we’ll look at that and see what the ground does. I think he won easily enough but the ground does drag it out of him and Rossa said he did empty out quick on that ground. But we’ll see how he recovers and make a decision tomorrow.”

Harry Eustace’s Divine Comedy (4-1) continued her rise through the ranks by picking up her third win of the season in the Trustatrader Fully Vetted Tradespeople Fillies’ Handicap, while there was a first success for the William Muir and Chris Grassick-trained Go Daddy (7-2), who showed plenty of heart to pick up the British Stallion Studs EBF Nursery Handicap.

Go Daddy registered an emotional victory for connections at Nottingham
Go Daddy registered an emotional victory for connections at Nottingham (PA)

“That was brilliant and we thought we had deserved a win earlier in the season,” said Grassick.

“William had selected him from the breeze-ups and did a fantastic job of going and securing the horse. He is busy buying new ones at the sales and will be delighted.

“Its a lovely story for the owners. They have been with William a very long time and this means a lot to them. They’ve had a lot of nice horses and lost a horse earlier this year. So to have a horse go and do this for them has really helped keep the dream alive for everybody and it will mean a lot to William. I’m sure he will have a tear in his eye at the sales.”

The ground deteriorating to heavy helped William Stone’s Dashing Roger (7-2 favourite) make all for a five-and-a-half-length triumph in the Trustatrader For Tradespeople You Can Trust Handicap.

Dashing Roger relished testing conditions at Colwick Park
Dashing Roger relished testing conditions at Colwick Park (PA)

“He’s just been waiting for this ground,” said Stone.

“He loves soft or heavy ground and it’s hard to find. If we can find the ground, he will keep running.”

David O’Meara’s Stressfree (100-30 favourite) built on a second at Ayr recently to open his UK account in the Trustatrader Approved And Reviewed Trades People Handicap, while the concluding Trustatrader You Can Trust Our Traders Apprentice Handicap went the way of the Olly Williams-trained Foursome (5-1).

Annaf comes out best in Bengough Stakes

Annaf continued his fine season when edging out Commanche Falls in a thrilling finish to the John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes at Ascot.

Mick Appleby’s four-year-old has been a consistent player on the sprinting scene this season, finishing third at this track in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He gained a deserved success when dropped into handicap company for the Portland at Doncaster last month and quickly added his tally when returned to Group company in this Group Three assignment.

Ridden again by Rossa Ryan, the 5-2 favourite was expertly manoeuvred into a position to challenge and stuck on resolutely in the closing stages to hunt down Michael Dods’ in-form Commanche Falls and win by short head.

“It was a great run and he just keeps improving,” said Appleby.

“He’s been so consistent this year and I just hope he’s got some more improvement to come.

“Rossa gets on so well with him and knows how to ride him. They get on really well together.

“Whether that will be it for the year now, I’m not sure. There are a couple of more races for him, but we’ll speak with the owners and decide what to do.

“We could possibly go to the Kachy Stakes again at Lingfield, but we’ll give him a break at some point.”

Rossa Ryan hoping Task Force can complete Group One mission

Rossa Ryan is eager to test Task Force’s potential when he lines up in Saturday’s Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Ralph Beckett’s charge is certainly bred to be a world beater as a son of Frankel out of a 1000 Guineas winner in Special Duty, and he has made an impact in winning each of his two starts to date.

A three-and-a-quarter-length winner on debut at Salisbury in July, Task Force took a jump to Listed level in his stride when coming home a cosy winner at Ripon at the end of last month.

Ryan was particularly impressed on the latter occasion and expects to find out plenty more about the colt when he switches to Group One company this weekend.

He said: “He has done everything right so far and his Listed race at Ripon is working out really well. 

“Quite a lot impressed me about him the last day as his win didn’t really feel like a race, it felt more like a piece of work as he was doing it that easily. 

“I know this is a massive leap forward into a Group One, but he has done everything right and you can’t fault him in any manner. 

“He has a very good cruise control and hopefully he can use that at the weekend. As to what his best attribute is I don’t know yet, but hopefully he will answer a few of those questions on Saturday.”

Ryan also has a second Group One ride to look forward to on the card as he teams up again with Symbology in the Cheveley Park Stakes.

The Clive Cox-trained filly was a York maiden winner in July and has since come up short in three Group races, most recently coming home seventh behind the reopposing Juniper Berries in the Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury.

While that form leaves her with something to find, Ryan does not think she will be out of her depth in the six-furlong contest.

He said: “Symbology has done little wrong, although the last day things didn’t quite go to plan. She is in good health. It is a very good race and we will see how she goes. 

“On her home work she has shown the ability to be able to perform at this level, but in the Group races she has run in up until now she has just been a bit green.

“Hopefully that won’t be the case in the Cheveley Park.”

The bet365 Cambridgeshire is the other highlight on the card, with 35 runners set to tackle the nine-furlong distance.

Ryan is on a likely longshot in Alan King’s Paradias, but he would not be surprised should the four-year-old outrun his double-figure odds.

He added: “Paradias has been consistent enough and he hasn’t done too much wrong. However, he is off a career-high mark.

“He looked like winning the race the last day at York with me, but he just hung across the track.

“We are dropping back to one mile, one furlong from a mile and a half so we will see how he goes back down in trip, although he has won over it before.”

Task Force stays unbeaten with Ripon feature triumph

Task Force maintained his unbeaten record with a clear-cut victory in the British Stallion Studs EBF Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy.

A son of two Guineas winners in Frankel and Special Duty, the Ralph Beckett-trained colt made a big impression on his racecourse debut at Salisbury last month, earning him a step up to Listed class.

He was the 11-8 favourite to dispatch of five rivals in North Yorkshire and did so in fine style in the hands of Rossa Ryan.

In the famous Juddmonte silks, Task Force raced enthusiastically at the rear of the field for much of the six-furlong contest before being produced with his challenge widest of all.

He mastered Shagraan and course and distance winner Seven Questions, who was briefly stopped in his run when challenging between the pair, and was good value for the winning margin of a length and a quarter.

The winner’s stablemate Matters Most finished strongly to fill the runner-up spot and provide the in-form Beckett team with a one-two.

Juddmonte’s racing manager, Barry Mahon, said of the winner: “The idea of going to Ripon was to teach him a bit as he didn’t learn much the first day, he hit the gates well and sat handy and was left in front a furlong and a half down, so he probably didn’t learn a lot about racing.

“He’ll have learned plenty there today. You saw how green he was in the early part of there and when Rossa asked him to go he was green, but when the penny dropped away he went.

“It was a nice performance and he could a nice horse.”

Task Force has the option of stepping up to seven furlongs for the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster next month, but plans are fluid at this stage.

“I haven’t spoken to Ralph yet and we need to let the dust settle, but I’ve no doubt seven is going to be right up his street,” Mahon added.

“He’s bred to be a miler in time, so seven furlongs won’t be a problem, but whether Ralph decides to go that way now or later on we’ll wait and see.

“Part of the reason we went back over six furlongs today was because when you look up his mother’s record she never raced beyond six at two and ended up being a dual Guineas winner at three, so there’s no shortage of speed in the pedigree and he showed that today against some hardened two-year-olds.”

Murphy quick off the mark on Leicester return

Oisin Murphy made a triumphant return from his spell on the sidelines when guiding Ed Dunlop’s No Surrender to victory at Leicester.

Murphy was last seen in the saddle when partnering Chaldean at Deauville on July 9, with the rider subsequently serving an eight-day suspension for a whip offence at Royal Ascot – a ban which saw him miss out on Shaquille’s July Cup success at Newmarket last week.

The three-times champion jockey was out of luck in a photo in the opener, but was not for passing aboard the appropriately named No Surrender, who was sent off at 6-1 in the William Hill Lengthen Your Odds EBF Novice Stakes.

Having sent his mount straight to the front, the son of Gleneagles had plenty in reserve to hold off the odds-on favourite Spectacular Style for three-quarter-length success.

“I was second in the first, beaten a head and I was delighted Ed Dunlop entrusted me with this guy,” said Murphy.

“He was very straightforward and enjoyed the trip and improved from his first start.”

Explaining the ride, Murphy added: “I wanted to get out from stall one, I didn’t want to be trapped down the rail going steady, so I got him out and he enjoyed himself out in front.

Jockey Oisin Murphy at Leicester Racecourse
Jockey Oisin Murphy at Leicester Racecourse (Tim Goode/PA)

“I had a horse that pricked his ears and filled himself up. I got going early enough, but he was always looking round and saving energy.

“Hopefully he will improve and you would like him as a type. He was beaten a long way on debut, but he was very raw and he’s clearly took a big step forward.”

Rossa Ryan was one of the main beneficiaries of Murphy’s absence, coming in for the spare ride aboard Shaquille to record his first Group One and having notched a double at Catterick on Wednesday, he was again amongst the winners with a treble.

He was immediately on the scoreboard in the opening William Hill Epic Value Nursery Handicap aboard Mick Appleby’s recent Beverley winner Eminny (2-1 favourite), before again linking up with the local handler to take the William Hill Epic Boost Classified Stakes with Boarhunt (6-1).

Eminny ridden by Rossa Ryan wins the William Hill Epic Value Nursery
Eminny ridden by Rossa Ryan wins the William Hill Epic Value Nursery (Tim Goode/PA)

The treble was secured later in the afternoon when he steered Alan King’s Mount Olympus (11-2 joint-favourite) to a clear two-and-a-quarter-length success in the William Hill Extra Place Races Daily Handicap.

Ryan said: “Obviously with this, the win on Saturday and the double yesterday, it’s turned out to be a good week so far and if we could pick up a couple more towards the end of the week and the weekend, that would be great.

“The Group One winner has helped me a lot, but I’ve also had winners on horses I’ve been riding all year and they have just popped up at the right time. The timing has just been right.

“It’s been great, I’ve developed a great partnership with Mick (Appleby), Alan (King) and lot of others and hopefully it can keep going.”

Mount Olympus ridden by Rossa Ryan wins the William Hill Extra Place Races Daily Handicap at Leicester
Mount Olympus ridden by Rossa Ryan wins the William Hill Extra Place Races Daily Handicap at Leicester (Tim Goode/PA)

John Butler’s consistent Measured Moments (9-2) bettered her third-placed effort here earlier this month to claim the William Hill Pick Your Places Fillies’ Handicap, while there was also a treble for Appleby with the Oakham handler winning the concluding William Hill In Play Racing Handicap with Twilight Jazz (7-1).

Appleby was in Cornwall celebrating his secretary’s 60th birthday, but said of the three-timer: “It was good to get the treble there at our local track.

“The two-year-old Eminny I think is a really nice horse. Hopefully she will keep on improving.

“Rossa gave his two great rides and it’s been a good day. Unfortunately I wasn’t there.”

‘It means the world – everything I’ve worked for’ – Rossa Ryan

Rossa Ryan had just one thing on his mind after riding his first Group One winner with Shaquille – his parents.

After all the interviews were done in a windswept Newmarket winner’s enclosure following the Pertemps-sponsored July Cup and the horses had long since departed, the young rider still had plenty of emotion in his voice, almost overwhelmed by a victory that meant so much in so many ways.

Ryan had been at something of a crossroads when parting company with the burgeoning Amo Racing operation, a move announced last August.

To his credit, one of the first to congratulate him amid the throng of well-wishers was Amo’s founder Kia Joorabchian, who wrapped an arm around the jockey with hearty words of congratulation.

Jockey Rossa Ryan with the trophy after winning the Pertemps Network July Cup at Newmarket
Jockey Rossa Ryan with the trophy after winning the Pertemps Network July Cup at Newmarket (David Davies for the Jockey Club/PA)

The parting may have been amicable, yet Ryan can be forgiven if he ever doubted himself. No need. He has been riding as well as anyone over the past few months, and the length-and-a-half success aboard Shaquille – not for a big yard, but that of an underdog form Norton, North Yorkshire – was testament to his immense ability.

He had only come in for the ride after Oisin Murphy, who was aboard when the colt had been victorious against his own age group in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, had been suspended.

And against the older horses not everything had gone to plan, with Shaquille falling out of the stalls and then lit up.

Ryan said: “I had to make a move in the middle part of the race – that was him. I had no option. I just let him blow out and grab his wind and he just went away.

“He doesn’t have to do anything right – he has got the ability.”

He added: “I didn’t have much of a choice. I tried to settle him in behind, but he wasn’t having it.

“So once he put his head in front three out, he filled up for me and I just managed to grab hold of him and pull him back a bit.

“Two out, he kicked and he stayed going. I saw someone out of the corner of my eye and he kicked again for me at the half-furlong pole. It was just an incredible performance.

“It is not like he’s shown up a bad field. And he’s doing it in a fashion.”

Ryan was full of praise for the Julie Camacho-trained three-year-old, who showed plenty of guts to fend off Run To Freedom.

But he had just one thing really on his mind, and he was abundant in his acknowledgement of his parents.

“It means the world – everything I’ve worked for,” Ryan said.

“Mum and dad starting me off at home, everything they have put into me, I can’t thank them enough.

Shaquille and jockey Rossa Ryan after winning the Pertemps Network July Cup
Shaquille and jockey Rossa Ryan after winning the Pertemps Network July Cup (David Davies for the Jockey Club/PA)

“They are the backbone behind it all. They have kept me on the straight and narrow for so long.

“I am so grateful to them. It will mean a lot to them as well.

“It has been a big year. It is down to my agent and I couldn’t do it without him.

“I am looking to build on it every season and it is going the right way so far. I just hope we can keep it going.”

Injury and suspension aside, it would be a brave man to back against him doing that.

Superb Shaquille powers to July Cup glory

Shaquille shot to the sprinting summit at Newmarket as Julie Camacho’s speedster doubled his big-race tally in the Pertemps Network July Cup Stakes.

The three-year-old was competing in handicap company on the weekend of the opening Classics of the season – but he has since announced himself as a star of the division and having taken the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, he took the sting out of his elders here on Newmarket’s July course.

In scenes reminiscent of Ascot, Shaquille bunny-hopped as the gates opened, giving away plenty of ground.

However, while at Ascot Oisin Murphy had time to creep his way into contention, Shaquille was not hanging around on the wide expansive track at HQ on this occasion and pulled his way to the front to eyeball the front-running Art Power.

Rossa Ryan (right) and connections celebrate
Rossa Ryan (right) and connections celebrate (Tim Goode/PA)

With two furlongs to run Rossa Ryan let the 5-2 joint-favourite have his head and the duo soon set about putting the race to bed.

Although Henry Candy’s Run To Freedom and Ralph Beckett’s Kinross were breathing down his neck in the final furlong, Shaquille was never slowing down and kept on strongly in the closing stages to come home a length-and-a-half clear of the runner-up.

Shaquille had given his Yorkshire-based team of Camacho and her husband Steve Brown their first Group One victory at Ascot and after quickly doubling their tally, he provided his jockey with his finest hour, too, with Ryan, who only picked up the ride on Thursday, tasting top-level success for the first time.

It could be the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock next and both Betfair and Paddy Power make the winner their 7-4 favourite.

“Why does he keep doing everything wrong,” said Camacho immediately after the race. “I just wish he’d do things right. He was keen, wasn’t he. I’m at a loss for words!”

Having become the first female trainer to break the £1million mark in prize-money in a season, Camachco composed herself thereafter and added: “It is brilliant. It is not as if it is an overnight success.

Shaquille powers home
Shaquille powers home (David Davies for The Jockey Club)

“We have been at it a long time. It is just nice that people in the north can have a bit of success, because there are some really good trainers in the north and if we can get the ammunition, we can do well with them.

“We will probably go to Haydock, although we will put him in at Deauville (Prix Maurice de Gheest).

“Steve will discuss it with Martin (Hughes, joint-owner). I’m only a very small part. Steve plays a bigger part than I do.”

She added: “I was wondering what he was doing after the stalls opened. He came on pretty keen and he did at Ascot, which isn’t ideal.

“I keep saying I wish he’d do everything right. He drives us mad.

“I think since we are beating the older horses, this was better than Ascot. We were confident the horse was fit and well and he was in good form, but then we are taking on the older horses, aren’t we?”

Brown said: “It was pretty breathtaking. I thought he’d done it all wrong today, slowly away. Oisin was quiet with him at Ascot, but Rossa chose to get close to the pace early and I thought we were doing too much from a fair way out, but to pick up from that you have to say he is a special athlete.

“He seems to be fluffing his lines a bit at the start. We hoped Ascot was an exception, but he’s getting something in his mind – it’s possibly the rug.

“We hope it doesn’t prevent him being successful going forward.”

He went on: “We are very proud of him. It is obviously unusual waters for us, so you have to take a little bit of time to absorb everything, but if I was sat at home with a cup of tea, I’d be thinking we’ve seen a really good racehorse today.

“It has been a slow process. You go back to last December and we were at a cold Wolverhampton on a Saturday night, I believe.

“So we didn’t see the talent at this level immediately. For all we knew we had a progressive horse. All-Weather Championships day was a disaster and we were forced down a different route. We tried to do it step by step really.

“At home, he is a lovely character, very laid back and doesn’t put a foot wrong, but doesn’t immediately show his talent. We would have three or four horses who would comfortably work better than him.

“We need to remember this horse has been training quite early in the winter to get him ready for All-Weather Finals Day, so at some point I wouldn’t mind giving him a couple of quiet weeks to let him strengthen. He is still a baby, for all he is a talented one. We will have a chat over a cup of tea.”

Asked how they celebrated after Royal Ascot, Brown said: “We stopped at the services and we did get brave and had an M&S sandwich, didn’t we. We pushed the boat out. We are not social animals. We just work hard and some days you have great days like this and other are disappointing.

“I don’t think it is going to change us too much! It wasn’t a prawn sandwich – strictly egg. Nice and simple. Julie is a bit more fancy. She could go a ham salad. That will be it, we are always thinking of tomorrow.”

River Of Stars prevails in Bronte Cup battle

River Of Stars battled hard to take the William Hill Bronte Cup Fillies’ Stakes for Ralph Beckett at York.

The Sea The Stars four-year-old won a Listed race at Chester last season before heading to Doncaster and coming home fifth in the Park Hill Stakes.

On the latter occasion the winner was Mimikyu, the 3-1 favourite for the York rematch as River Of Stars went off at 4-1 under Rossa Ryan.

Ryan kept the filly near the front of the field of nine and in the home straight it was the two Doncaster rivals who locked horns, crossing the line almost in unison as a photo finish was required to identify Beckett’s horse as the short-head winner.

“It played out well, if it wasn’t her first run of the year I’d have probably let her roll along,” said the jockey.

“In the middle part of the race we filled up a lot, you can see from the top of the straight she was just being a bit lairy.

“Kieran’s horse (O’Neill, Mimikyu) has just dragged me into the race, she knew where the line was and she stuck it out well.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if she gets a small bit further but it’s worked out great.

“Ralph’s been aiming her at this for a while and it worked out lovely.

“She had a lot to turn around from the Park Hill with the winner, but she’s turned it round.

“She’s a light enough filly and I’d say she quite enjoyed that good ground, she’s just a bit on and off the bridle the whole way.

“If they don’t get away from her, like they didn’t today, she grinds it out well.

“She’s very versatile and it’s good for the owners, the team at home have done a great job, they’ve stuck faith in her and she’s paid them off.”