Trainer Gerald Ryan has confirmed that talented galloper Red Excitement will contest the 2015 Carlyon Cup at Caulfield on Saturday.
Red Excitement was included in the acceptances for both the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) in Melbourne and the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick in Sydney, but Ryan told Racing Ahead that the Excites gelding will make the trip to Melbourne and believes that the five-year-old will prove very tough to beat under handicap conditions in the Group 2 event.
“He will go to the Carlyon Cup,” Ryan said.
“The owners wanted to accept in the races up here on Saturday (the Apollo Stakes), but he is booked on the float to go to Melbourne tonight.
“I think that he is very well placed under the handicaps in the Carlyon Cup and he is going well.
“I gave him a trial here the other week and he trialed sensational.
“He is doing well, he looks well and he is happy.
“He is really in the zone and I think that 1600 metres will suit him.”
Red Excitement has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and his performance in the Carlyon Cup is set to decide whether he continues on a path towards the Group 1 event at Flemington on March 14.
Ryan said that Red Excitement will progress to the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 28 if he hits the line strongly in the Carlyon Cup, but the veteran trainer said that he would be happy to keep the Chester Manifold Stakes winner at a mile for races like the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 or the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on March 14.
“One of the reasons I wanted to run in the 1600 was because he has been placed over 1900 as a young horse and if he is as good over 1600 we will push on to the Peter Young, but if we are a bit doubtful about him getting the journey we might run in the Chipping Norton Stakes here in a couple of weeks’ time or run him in the Blamey on Australian Cup Day,” Ryan said.
“I didn’t think he could run in a 1400 metre race and go to the Peter Young off that.
“That just keeps our options open, but I am tipping he will be sticking around 1600 metres.”
Red Excitement will face 11 rivals in the 2015 Carlyon Cup field; with the likes of Group 1 winner Smokin’ Joey, Peter Moody-trained Lidari and Herbert Power Stakes winner Big Memory included in the acceptances for the Group 1 event.