After failing to handle the rain at the Sunshine Coast last weekend, Gerald Ryan’s soon-to-retire warhorse Ironstein will back-up in the Grafton Cup 2014 Saturday week in their swansong race.
The veteran of 63 starts raced in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) last Saturday on a track rated a Dead (5).
The Zabeel eight-year-old finished nearly 10 lengths away fifth behind the upset winner Brayroan in an effort Ryan blames on the conditions.
“If I had known it was going to rain I wouldn’t have gone there,” Ryan told AAP.
“It rained on race day which is no help to him.”
He will be hoping then the weather stays clear in Sydney over the next week ahead of the gelding’s final race before heading to the paddock for good.
Ironstein will have their last run in the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) after their ninth career win and their first turf triumph since November of 2011.
They haven’t been able to win a race since the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) over two and a half years ago but have been competitive along the way.
Having already amassed over $1 million in prize money the horse has more than paid back connections who purchased them for $250,000 at the 2007 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Ruled out of a Grafton Cup bid meanwhile is Joe Pride’s Stayers Cup champ Destiny’s Kiss.
The Power Of Destiny five-year-old suffered interference and finished a luckless fifth behind Secessio in the Listed Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
Destiny’s Kiss and jockey Josh Parr got closed in on when trying to get through a narrow gap in the Winter Cup, the duo lucky not to have come unstuck completely or come away with any scars.
While a chance to atone in the Grafton Cup was tempting, Pride has decided instead to give them a freshen-up before returning for the Newcastle Cup.
Their major spring assignment will then be the $400,000 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival on October 4.
“He is a lovely little horse and I have to say he is one of my favourites,” Pride said.
“Grafton is there but my feeling is he can have three weeks off and get ready for the Newcastle Cup.
“Then maybe he could have a shot at race like the Metropolitan. If he got a wet track he would be really competitive down in the weights.
“I think it’s too much to ask him to go to Grafton.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the Grafton Cup Carnival, nominations due out shortly for both the Cup and Wednesday weeks Ramornie Handicap.
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