Templemore based trainer John Patrick Ryan is enjoying one of his most successful ever seasons, having saddled his first treble in Sligo at the end of September. That brought his tally of winners for the current campaign to 14, which is one more than he managed in 2015.
Ryan is expecting a big run from Kylecrue in Sunday’s Coral.ie (Grade A) Handicap Chase of €100,000 in Leopardstown. Tomorrow’s field of 19 runners sees 11 coming from the mighty yards of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliot, but Ryan is defiant, believing Kylecrue is capable of being in the final shakeup
Speaking with Tipperary Times, Templemore based John Ryan spoke highly of Kylecrue and his potential in tomorrow’s race. “We gave him a nice break after Limerick as that was a gruelling race, we had other horses to run during the winter so we could leave him off and let him recover. He’s well rested now and fresh. He is a proper horse and he showed his class in Limerick where he ran a cracker.
John Ryan spoke about looking forward to Leopardstown and how the track will suit Kylecrue, “He’s definitely better going left-handed so that will suit him, and while he’s getting on a bit, he’s not like most 10-year-olds. He’s not very big so wasn’t broken in until he was five and then he won a point-to-point at six, he’s got far less miles on the clock than most at his age. He’s very capable, I’m hoping for a big race out of him tomorrow, I’m expecting him to be there thereabouts”.
Ryan concluded by saying, “The ground looks like it might be on the good side tomorrow, he tends to like it a bit softer but he should be well able to travel on the ground”.
Ryan finished off by saying , “He’s got a nice racing weight and while there looks to be some well-handicapped novices, he’ll make them go a bit.”
Ryan also has the very capable Kilcarry Bridge taking to the field for the 3m Coral.ie Handicap Hurdle. With a field of 12, Kilcarry Bridge is well in and is sure to get into mix. The 10 year old also has Danny Mullins on board and Ryan is expecting a good performance.
Since obtaining his licence in the early 1990s, Ryan has become a leading national hunt trainer. At the time of writing, he had 14 winners for the season and was flying high in the national hunt trainers’ championship. He attributes his success to his in-depth knowledge of horses, the excellent team he has around him and the fact that his farm/ stables boasts a one-and-a-half-mile point-to-point track.
“It’s a top class track which gives our horses an advantage when it comes to competing because they are practically training on a racecourse every day”.
“Danny Mullins is our main jockey. He comes here every week and his feedback is invaluable. Thomas Brett is another keen young jockey who has ridden two winners for me so far this season and many placed horses. He is a talented young jockey who will be turning conditional this spring. Dan Corbett is also a capable young man who is very enthusiastic and is a great member of the team. My daughters Gillian, Deirdre and son Eoin are also involved in the day to day running of the yard and have a great say with the horses”.
The 55 year old has about 35 horse in training, half of which are 3 or 4 year olds. Draycott Place, Klyecrue Bitview Colin, Kilcarry Bridge and Presenting Mahler are his more successful horses at the moment, with others are showing plenty of promise.
Also in Leopardstown, Gordon Elliott has been farming the big handicaps this season and landed another last week, the Dan Moore with Ball D’Arc.
He fields the top-weight Clarcam, the lightly-raced Vukovar and the favourite A Toi Phil, unplaced in Grade Ones the last twice.
Stellar Notion runs for Henry de Bromhead, Total Recall represents Sandra Hughes and Bentelimar goes for Shay Barry.
Ruby Walsh has picked Rolly Baby of Mullins’ quartet and his son, Patrick, thinks that could be significant.
“Ruby has gone for Rolly Baby. He carries 10st 3lb, which is a good racing weight and Ruby wouldn’t ride that light too often,” said Mullins jnr.
“He jumped fantastic in the Paddy Power Chase, but was a little bit keen and probably didn’t get home, so we’re dropping back in trip.
“Even though he’s quite an old horse, he’s relatively unexposed and off that weight he must have a big chance.
“New Kid In Town has 9st 10lb and Rachael Blackmore, who is the leading conditional over here at the moment, takes off another 5lb.
“He probably wasn’t getting home in the Paddy Power either, so coming back in trip with an in-form jockey on his back, he could run well.
“Tennis Cap and The Paparrazi Kid both have plenty of weight and if they can pick up a share of the prize-money we’ll be happy.”
Apache Jack, a classy novice hurdler in 2013-14, runs in the three-mile handicap hurdle, while Toe The Line is an interesting runner in the mares’ maiden hurdle.
Smart on the level, she is without a win in three recent spins over hurdles but has not been disgraced.