Gerald Ryan is pleased with the benefit Red Excitement has taken from his run in the Festival Stakes a fortnight ago and is confident the six-year-old is a legitimate winning chance in Saturday’s Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
Red Excitement entered the Festival Stakes off the back of a four week layoff as a result of inclement weather and heavy tracks, and clearly relished a return to good going when producing a strong turn of foot to finish a credible fifth; less than two lengths off the pace of runaway winner Mighty Lucky.
Ryan told RSN the Excites gelding has taken plenty of condition from his Festival Stakes performance and is confident the conditions of Saturday’s 2015 Villiers Stakes will play into the strengths of his runner, in what is a talent-rich field.
“He was very good and has improved from him,” Ryan said.
“He missed his original first-up run beforehand because he whacked his leg on the track.
“He went to Melbourne and ran on a wet track, came home and was going to run at Rosehill but it was a heavy track so I scratched him.
“He went to the Festival Stakes and basically hadn’t raced for a month and I thought he ran really well and had really good improvement.
“He’s had two starts at 1600m for two wins and one start at Randwick over 1600m for one win. He’s well in at the weights on Saturday.
“It’s always a good race but this year there looks to be a lot of chances in it and he’s one of them, he’s going really well.”
Red Excitement has been a strong and consistent performer since first appearing on course for trainer Neville Layt in 2011; posting a commendable ten wins and six minors through a total of 31 career starts.
A standout over the 2014/15 summer, Red Excitement returned for success in the Drummond Golf BM95 (1400m) on December 20th before taking out the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) most notably on January 20th.
Included amongst a list of 26 nominees on Monday, Red Excitement is expected to be confirmed in a capacity Villiers Stakes field of 20 by midday, Wednesday.