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They may be a rising nine-year-old but the Gerald Ryan-trained veteran Ironstein is going as good as ever and is ready to tackle the 2014 Scone Cup this Friday.
Yesterday there were 27 nominations taken for this year’s $200,000 Listed Emirates Park Scone Cup (1600m) including Ryan’s Zabeel eight-year-old Ironstein.
While retirement isn’t far off for the $1 million earner, they’ll hopefully get a few more chances to add some extra Black Type to their record before heading to the paddock for good.
“He is fit and well and going to Scone,” Ryan confirmed to the Newcastle Herald.
“I was very pleased with his first-up run. I’m not sure where we are going with him but he is enjoying himself.”
The gelding will be second-up on Friday after resuming with a credible fifth behind Kaypers, Greg Bennett’s 40-start veteran also nominated for a Scone Cup rematch, in a Benchmark 97 handicap over 1400m at Randwick on April 26.
That was their first run in five and a half months following a decent spring campaign headlined by their very close fourth to Seville in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) when defeated under a length.
Last start, their 59th career jump, they also carried 58kg and so will appreciate the drop back to 56kg in the Scone Cup weights that are led by the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Leebaz (59kg).
Zabeel four-year-old Leebaz caught the eye on May 3 when winning the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup (1600m) to take their impressive record to six wins from nine starts to date.
Their Scone Cup entry though is only a back-up plan with Team Hawkes confirming they would accept for the progressive stayer to go up to 2000m for a shot at the Group 1 Doomben Cup in Brisbane on Saturday.
The stable will still be represented in the Scone Cup however by Mecir (58kg), the Lonhro five-year-old last seen running a distant fourth behind Sistine Demon in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on April 19.
Also on 58kg with Mecir are the Joe Pride-trained Destiny’s Kiss coming off a win at Warwick Farm over the mile on April 25, Group 3 winner Prince Cheri and Chris Waller’s Lonhro seven-year-old Tromso last seen beating them home at Rosehill last Saturday over 1350m.
Ironstein meanwhile is likely to start an outsider in Scone Cup betting as their second-up record leaves a lot to be desired.
They’re also a genuine staying type better suited to further ground.
Still Ryan will have his fingers crossed in the feature.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for the release of the 2014 Scone Cup field on Wednesday followed by the betting markets opening at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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