Steely might not be the best horse trained by Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou but he has been the stable’s standard-bearer this season
The Ryan-Alexiou training partnership has been in operation for nearly 12 months and recorded 68 wins for stable earnings nearing $5m.
They have had their share of big-race wins from the likes of Peltzer, Ellsberg and Mallory, too.
But the stable’s “winningest” horse is Steely with four in the 2020-21 season.
The underrated Steely can improve his record further when he lines up in the ACY Securities Handicap (1800m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Although Steely is well into an extended campaign that began in March and has yielded three wins from seven starts, he remains in top form and passed a stamina test when he won over 1800m in heavy ground at Rosehill two weeks ago.
Despite Steely’s consistent form, he is rated only a $10 chance in latest TAB fixed odds betting behind Great House at $3 favourite.
But as Ryan pointed out, Steely hasn’t started favourite in any of his four wins and was a $12 chance when he comfortably defeated Lackeen by more than a length at Rosehill.
“Steely will line up again, he’s fit and well,’’ Ryan said.
“This is a bit harder but we can’t fault him. He was good last start and ran the trip right out.’’
Ryan and Alexiou also have Zoumist and Super Effort lining up in the Agency Real Estate Handicap (1200m).
The stablemates have drawn the outside barriers for a race reduced to 12 starters after scratchings.
Super Effort is the favoured stable runner at $14 after living up to his name at his debut for the Ryan-Alexiou stable with an impressive win at Newcastle.
“He was very good at his first start for us at Newcastle,’’ Ryan said.
“We took the blinkers and everything off him, rode him a bit quieter and he won well.
“I don’t know what he beat but he made a long run, he was caught wide, and kept going right through the line.’’
The Gerald Ryan (pictured) and Sterling Alexiou partnership has recorded 68 wins. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Zoumist is resuming on Saturday but the filly has sprinted well fresh previously.
However, in early betting markets she is at $26, which reflects Ryan’s concern about a heavy track.
“We have scratched Zoumist about three times in recent weeks and she needs to go to the races,’’ Ryan said.
“She is not at her best on heavy ground but has been in quite a while now, her work has been good and we have to get her going.
“This filly has had eight starts, three at the provincials, where she won every time, but zilch in town, although she has run some good races at Rosehill and Randwick.’’
Ryan said two-year-old filly Bay Of Kiel ($17) was a doubtful starter in the Schweppes Handicap (1400m).
The superbly-bred filly – she is by super sire Redoute’s Choice out of multiple Group 1 winner Faint Perfume – is held in high regard by Ryan and Alexiou.
“She is a filly we have a lot of time for but she has been no good on wet tracks,’’ Ryan said.
“She has proven that in trials and her only start. But we have hopes of her going to those top staying races for fillies next season as she is bred to get out to 2400m.’’
Gerald Ryan will target the Golden Eagle with Ellsberg. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Meanwhile, Peltzer, winner of the Bondi Stakes, Stan Fox Stakes and Eskimo Prince Stakes this season, has been retired to stud and will stand at Twin Hills Farm this spring.
But Ryan and Alexious have ambitious plans for the talented Ellsberg and promising fillies Mallory and Joyous Legend.
Ellsberg showed glimpses of his emerging ability this season, winning the Listed South Pacific Classic and running second to boom Melbourne galloper Ayrton in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic last month.
Ryan said Ellsberg would be set for the $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on October 30.
“The plan with Ellsberg is to give him two runs prior to the Golden Eagle,’’ Ryan said.
“He will be a four-year-old, 1500m on his home track, it’s the obvious target for him.
“I might start him off with no blinkers and stop him from being stereotyped as a leader.’’
Mallory and Joyous Legend both showed considerable potential during their juvenile seasons and will be aimed at the Group 1 $500,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Epsom Day, October 2.
Widden Stakes winner Mallory was spelled after finishing midfield in the Golden Slipper, while Joyous Legend, herself a daughter of champion mare More Joyous, was spelled after her close third to Jamaea in the Percy Sykes Stakes.
“Mallory will trial at the end of the month and then go to the Silver Shadow Stakes,’’ Ryan said.
“Joyous Legend has done well, she is a bit stronger, grown a bit. She is probably about two weeks behind Mallory so she is likely to resume in a race like the Heritage Stakes.
“They are both very good fillies and I hope they can get to the Flight Stakes.’’
Originally published asSteely-eyed winner still under the radar
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