Gerald Ryan’s evergreen seven-year-old stayer Ironstein will be after their break through win this spring when they take on a crack field of end of season stayers in the Sandown Cup 2012 on Saturday.
One of nine black-type races on a bumper Sandown Hill program this weekend, the $150,000 Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) is due to run as Race 3 at 1:30pm (AEST) and has drawn a final field of 12.
Run over the same distance as the iconic Melbourne Cup, the Sandown Cup often attracts a field of Melbourne Cup hopefuls that failed to make the cut in the world’s richest handicap.
Two horses are installed as the equal 58kg topweights in the 2012 Sandown Cup field with Ironstein and Unusual Suspect.
Drawn in gate eight with Kerrin McEvoy to ride, Zabeel gelding Ironstein has been in great form this time in but hasn’t won a race since the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Emirates Stakes Day 12 months ago.
“He’s racing in the best form of his career,” Ryan said.
“Even though he’s not winning he’s carrying four and five kilos more than he was last year and he’s coping with it well.”
Ironstein also ran in the Group 3 feature this year finishing a distant second when beaten five lengths by the impressive Puissance De Lune who was coming off an eight length romp in the Bendigo Cup.
“He ran his heart out on Saturday and was beaten by a horse that might be a freak,” Ryan said of Ironstein’s effort in the Queen Elizabeth last weekend.
Ironstein also ran a brave third to Vatuvei in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup two starts back and will be getting up to the two miles for the first time on Saturday.
If successful in the Sandown Cup Ironstein will also hit over $1 million in career earnings, Ryan hopeful they can do just that despite the short seven day back-up.
“He’s come through last weekend’s race in terrific order and done very well,” Ryan said.
“The question is how he’ll go on the seven-day back-up.
“I’m not certain how he’ll go with it.”
The other major players in the Sandown Cup this year are then the Luca Cumani-trained English galloper Ibicenco last seen running fourth to Kelinni in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Derby Day, and Robert Smerdon’s flying five-year-old Verdant coming off a big Melbourne Cup Day win in the same race last year’s Sandown Cup winner Norsqui came via.
Other notable hopefuls then include the Gai Waterhouse-trained Reuben Percival, Torquay-based stayer Crafty Cruiser and the David Hayes-trained Fictional Account.
See below for the full Sandown Cup 2012 final field, barriers and jockeys.
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2012 Sandown Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Sandown Race 3 – 1:30pm (AEST) – 17/11/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||230×453432||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||8||58kg||102|
|2||6908×90050||UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA)||Michael Kent||Brad Rawiller||11||58kg||102|
|3||32x42x7x74||IBICENCO (GER)||Luca Cumani||Glen Boss||2||57kg||100|
|4||1315×53927||REUBEN PERCIVAL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Vlad Duric||12||56kg||98|
|5||03164×9209||FICTIONAL ACCOUNT (IRE)||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||5||54.5kg||94|
|6||34Px774211||VERDANT (GB)||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||6||54.5kg||92|
|7||x0526x0287||I’M JAKE (NZ)||David Brideoake & David Feek||Dean Yendall||3||54.5kg||91|
|8||8418752089||SPECHENKA||Ben Ahrens||Steven King||9||54.5kg||89|
|9||0970170482||BACK IN BLACK (NZ)||John Steffert||Michael Walker||10||54.5kg||89|
|10||3444122124||CRAFTY CRUISER||Bryce Stanaway||Blake Shinn (late alt)||4||54.5kg||86|
|11||157×073040||MISS WITH ATTITUDE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||1||54.5kg||86|
|12||725622×247||AKZAR (IRE)||Rob Blacker||Daniel Moor||7||54.5kg||80|