In the past two season’s Brisbane winners alone have returned Gerald Ryan a bit under $2 million dollars.
Last year was his better performance with a team of eight bringing home well over a million dollars between them.
This year hasn’t been poor though with half the number of runners giving him around half the prize money.
That could all chance this weekend though with Ironstein able to had a hefty pay cheque of his own over 2200m in the Tattersall’s Cup.
While many trainers have withdrawn from Brisbane for the final week of the carnival, Ryan still knows there’s plenty to be gained and he well and truly wants a piece of it.
“We had a terrific year in Brisbane last season when we won $1.2 million in prize money,” Ryan said.
“Last year we had eight horses up there when Melito and Rothesay won the bulk of the prize money.
“This year I only sent up four horses and between them they’ve already won half a million and the carnival isn’t over yet.”
The bulk of last year’s pocket money came thanks to Melito and her win in the Group 1 Winter Stakes, now known as the Tattersall’s Tiara.
Already in the bank before that was a hefty sum of many thanks to her three straight Group 1 placings in the BTC Cup, Doomben 10,000 and the Stradbroke Handicap.
Rothesay chipped in with a couple of more than handy efforts winning the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup and the Group 2 Queensland Guineas.
Also thrown into the mix is Adnocon which came up trumps over at Ipswich in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes.
Adnocon is actually the only horse which has contributed in a big way both in 2010 and 2011, he backed it up this year as well defending his Eye Liner title.
In the 2011 squad as well is champion two-year-old Hot Snitzel which won a Listed race on the Gold Coast before winning the Group 2 Sires Produce Stakes as well.
He came so close in the Group 1 TJ Smith but the second place prize money for that run was certainly worth the trip out to Eagle Farm.
Ironstein’s performance last year was overshadowed by his star stable mates but he too earned a pay day when winning the Listed Caloundra Cup on the final week of the carnival.
It was a big call by Ryan to not let him shoot for two in a row on the Sunshine Coast, instead tomorrow’s Tattersall’s Cup will be the make or break run.
“I thought about going straight to the Caloundra Cup with him but it would have been three weeks between runs so I decided to run him in the Tatt’s Cup,” Ryan said.
“I’m not sure if he’ll back up in the Caloundra Cup and I won’t decide until I see how he pulls up after tomorrow.”
Ryan doesn’t want to burn out the five-year-old too much knowing that there’s plenty of big money on offer for stayer’s later in the spring.
He’s becoming a specialist cup’s horse and races like the Newcastle Cup and Wyong Cup are both firming as his future targets.
Long term the Group 1 Metropolitan at Randwick is also far from out of the question.
“They can’t keep going forever and he’ll need to have a break if he’s to run in the spring,” Ryan said.
In terms of tomorrow though Ryan says the horse is in good shape, the only issue he does have is the absence of any specialist front runner.
“I can’t fault the horse’s form but there looks to be a lack of speed which is a worry,” he said.
“But he doesn’t know how to pull and relaxes so well he still should be very competitive.”
Ryan last won the Tattersall’s Cup way back in 1993 with Ancient Ritual and if Ironstein is to give him another he’ll need a big change in results.
He’s run 11 times this prep for only the single win, while he’s no doubt very reliable at running around a place he just needs to find that extra spark of speed.
“He might have won only one race but he’s been very consistent along the way,” Ryan said.
“He’s drawn wide (10) and has a big weight (58kg) which is another worry.
“I liked his Brisbane Cup run and he’s come out of it well.”
Ironstein was fourth in the Brisbane Cup finishing well clear of the winner Tullamore and the second placed Glass Harmonium.