The Gerald Ryan-trained Red Excitement had a lot of factors working against him in the Drummond Golf Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse on Saturday yet the classy galloper managed to work past it all and score his fourth consecutive win, albeit his first since February.
After a successful summer campaign in Sydney that saw the five-year-old gelding win three consecutive handicaps and place in two benchmark races, Red Excitement knocked a tendon following the Eatability Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick Racecourse on February 8, in which he dead heated with Kinnersley.
The injury left the gelding on the sidelines for 10 months and he required a lot of care to return to peak fitness. However his 2014 Drummond Golf Handicap victory wouldn’t be as simple as that. Red Excitement also had to overcome a hefty top weight of 61kg and jump from the awkward barrier seven.
Yet despite all the odds, Red Excitement and hoop Brenton Avdulla controlled the race from the front to beat home Burbero by a head and You’ll Never in third place.
Red Excitement’s trainer and jockey were both emotional following the victory.
“I got choked up because it means a lot that win,” Gerald Ryan told TVN.
“Tim Boland should take a lot of credit, he has helped me nurse this horse back from injury.
“He has been in and out of the stables for the past nine months, it has been a big team effort.”
Avdulla rode Red Excitement three times during the summer and couldn’t wait to get aboard the gelding in his return on Saturday.
“As I went past the winning post I almost had a tear in my eye,” the hoop said.
“That is a very special win for everyone involved in the stable.
“He is a marvel this bloke, he has been around the stable for so long and a lot of people have put a lot of hard work to get him here today.
“To do what he did is quite amazing, he had 61kg, was first-up at 1400m and was giving a lot of weight to his rivals.
“He has been nursed back from injury, that is a tough win.”
Red Excitement will continue with his summer preparation where his next start will likely be at Flemington.