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After three consecutive years racing in the Ipswich Cup Day feature, Gerald Ryan’s veteran galloper Adnocon will be absent from Saturday’s Eye Liner Stakes 2013 with the Sydney horseman relying instead on his progressive three-year-old Dances On Stars.
The now seven-year-old Clang gelding Adnocon enjoyed successive victories in the $175,000 Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) in 2010 and 2011 before just missing out on the trifecta last winter when beaten under half a length into third behind Belltone.
Not having raced since their eighth to Rolling Pin in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle last September, Adnocon has now officially been retired after failing to come back from their latest spell well enough to warrant pressing on.
“We were trying to get him ready for another crack at it but he pulled up a bit sore after his last trial (in April), so we decided to retire him,” Ryan said.
Ryan will still be well represented in this year’s Eye Liner Stakes field however with plans to accept for and saddle up Snitzel gelding Dances On Stars who is in top form.
“It’s not the same without Adnocon but Dances On Stars can make up for it,” Ryan said.
“We’ve had a bit of luck in that race, because Gullcatcher and Shivirgo also ran placings in it.”
A winner of just two of their 15 starts to date, most notably the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick last April, Dances On Stars has continued their nice record in the sunshine state this season.
Last year as a juvenile they posted two Group 2 thirds in the Champagne Classic and BRC Sires Produce Stakes in Brisbane and have enjoyed similar luck this carnival.
They were a close first-up third to Academus in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) but a wide gate saw them finish well back in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at fortnight later.
Dances On Stars bounced back at the start of this month however when finishing just a long neck away second behind Sizzling in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m), form Ryan is hoping they will carry on to Ipswich this weekend in the Eye Liner with the right ride from their Queensland Guineas hoop Brenton Avdulla.
“The owners weren’t keen to run from the bad barrier (in the QLD Guineas), but what it did was make us ride him properly,” Ryan said.
“We rode him off the speed when he won at Rosehill in December, but the way he was ridden at Doomben (on the outside of the front runner) is not the way to ride him.
“He doesn’t have to go back to last, but if we ride him quiet and there’s a bit of speed on, he can finish off strongly.”
They are very well weighted for the feature too getting in on the 54kg minimum with Gary Kennewell’s Group 1 The Goodwood runner-up Conservatorium, after a consolation win after missing out on a Stradbroke Handicap start last Saturday, the 59kg topweight of the entries.
Dances On Stars could continue on in Queensland after Saturday’s run if all goes well with Ryan considering the $100,000 Listed Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) on June 29.
“We’ll see how he goes on Saturday but we may decide to go to the Sunshine Coast Guineas,” Ryan said.
“That is over a mile (1600m) and if he can run that distance it gives us something more to aim at in the summer.”
Ryan will also be represented in the $200,000 Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) on Saturday by Planetarium who comes off a nice win at Eagle Farm over 1818m a fortnight ago and who will also be ridden by Avdulla before he begins a suspension after the meeting.
Fields for the Ipswich races on Saturday are due out later this morning and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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