Ryan clan keen for weekend of success

Oct 11, 2013

His father may be busy preparing for Group One glory on Saturday but it is the $6000 Verandah Town Cup at Lockhart that is the number-one priority for amateur jockey Blake Ryan.

Sydney-based Ryan will make the five-and-a-half-hour journey to Lockhart tomorrow for three rides, while father Gerald puts the finishing touches on Charlie Boy ahead of Saturday’s $1 million Caulfield Guineas.

Ryan has been one of the picnic circuit’s rising stars over the past 18 months as he juggles his riding commitments with a full-time job in his dad’s stable.

As the Ryan team prepares for runners in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday, Ryan will make tracks to Lockhart for its annual picnic race day before doubling up at Young the following day.

As Charlie Boy prepares to face the starter in the big Group One feature at Caulfield, Ryan will most likely watch on from Young Racecourse after fulfilling his book of rides there.

While he admits there can be a lot of travel involved, Ryan said he enjoyed the picnic scene.

“It is a bit of travel but I don’t mind it,” Ryan said.

“I ride work during the week for Dad and go to the races with him during the week.

“It fits in pretty good, I only usually miss Saturday mornings and some race days, it just depends what’s on.

“I’ll go to Lockhart (tomorrow) then Young after that and a few rides at both of those these days earns as much as a weekly wage so it’s not a bad hobby to have.”

Ryan has ridden “20 odd” winners from 100 rides since entering the picnic scene with a bang at Cootamundra in April last year.

The 27-year-old will take the ride on the Richard Freyer-trained top weight From London in the 1400-metre cup.

From London has been allocated a whopping 72.5 kilograms for tomorrow’s feature race but faces a massive drop in grade after contesting a stronger race on Benalla Gold Cup day last Sunday when he beat just the one runner home.

“It’s good to ride for Richard because they’re always competitive when he goes to the picnics,” Ryan said yesterday.

“He’s got the top two in the race and Three Buddies probably looks like the one to beat.

“My ride has 72.5 kilos and deserves it, but if he gets the right run I’m sure he’ll run a race.

“Three Buddies won the race last year and while he has only had the one run back from 12 months off, he ran a good second at Wagga last year, then won the Lockhart Cup second up, so he still looks the one to beat.

“We’re drawn to get the right nice run so hopefully we can get the job done.”

Ryan, a former director with racing broadcaster TVN, shed about 50 kilograms to get into the saddle.

He also has a ride on Demeanour in the $5000 Trophy Handicap (930m), who he expects to run a big race first-up.