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The 2012 Sydney Cup next April is one of two possible targets for Gerald Ryan’s classy Zabeel gelding Ironstein, the six-year-old currently enjoying a break after a successful spring campaign.
Last seen running away to win the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, November 5, Ironstein is preparing to be bought back for either the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival early next year or be saved a little longer for the riches of Brisbane’s Winter Carnival.
If connections, including owner John Singleton, decide to bring Ironstein back in time for the spoils in Sydney, then it is the $500,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 28 that will be the primary aim.
Should they stay out a little longer and head up to Queensland for the winter, as they did in June of this year, then it is the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 where Ironstein’s focus will be.
“He is up at John’s (John Singleton’s) farm and we will talk this week about which way we want to go,” Ryan said.
“If we decide to target the Sydney Cup then he will need to come back into work very soon.
“The other option is to give him a longer break and set him for the Brisbane Cup in June.”
Queensland has been a happy hunting ground for Ironstein over the past few seasons, the galloper having won the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast last July.
Earlier this year during the Brisbane Winter Carnival Ironstein ran a credible fourth to Gai Waterhouse’s subsequent Caulfield Cup third placegetter Tullamore in the Brisbane Cup before narrowly holding on to defeat Shuffle The Cash by the bob of a head in the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2200m).
In other news from Ryan’s stables, his last-start Rosehill winner Ahdashim will miss out a trip to Brisbane for the summer season due to injury.
The Elusive City six-year-old, winner of the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington back on New Year’s Day, injured a ligament and will be out for six months at least.
“He damaged a ligament behind a pastern and will spend six months in the paddock,” Ryan said of Ahdashim.
“It’s a blow because he has always been such a sound horse and was going so well.
“He had never won first-up before.”
Ryan is still expected to have a strong hand in Brisbane this coming season, including in the Magic Millions Race Day 2012 at the Gold Coast on January 14.
Randwick winner on debut back in October, Snitzel colt Amorino is set for success in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m).
“He’s qualified for the Magic Millions Classic so he will be there,” Ryan confirmed.
This year’s Magic Millions Guineas third placegetter Top Drop will return for a shot at the $400,000 Magic Millions Cup (1400m) while stablemates Adnocon and Rock Monster will be aimed at the $100,000 Magic Millions Maiden Plate (1200m).
Stay tuned to Races.com.au over the coming months for all the summer racing news and updates.
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