Ryan chasing a first in Queensland Derby

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June 8, 2018 - 02:30 PM

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Victory by Mahamedeis in the Queensland Derby would get the Group One monkey off the back of trainer Nick Ryan.

A former champion jockey, Ryan won the Victorian premiership as an apprentice but was winless at the highest level, finishing in the placings on seven occasions.

"I had about six seconds as a jockey, so if I could win on Saturday, it would be a huge thrill," Ryan said.

On Saturday at Doomben, Ryan saddles his first Group One runner when Mahamedeis contests the Queensland Derby at Doomben.

Mahamedeis was successful over 1600m at Caulfield in April before running third to fellow Derby aspirant Lucky For All at Caulfield on May 12.

He had his first look at the Doomben track on May 26, finishing fifth behind Heavenly Thought in the Derby lead-up, the Grand Prix Stakes.

"I took him to Doomben on Tuesday for another look at the track," Ryan said.

"He galloped nice and is rock-hard fit and since he's been up in Queensland he hasn't missed a beat.

"He's a big progressive horse and has got better with each run."

Like a lot of trainers Ryan sees a trip away from their home base as a benefit which has been the case with Mahamedeis who has thrived at the Sunshine Coast since his first-up Brisbane run.

Ryan expects the wet conditions to also suit Mahamedeis.

'I think the rain they've had is enough," Ryan said.

"The track is a (soft) seven at the moment and I don't think it will be much better than that.

"Come race seven on Saturday I'd imagine it will be pretty chopped up.

"My horse is untested on the heavy but he's been placed on the soft and I believe if it's heavy he will handle it and the wet will make it a strong staying test.

"If the Derby was at Eagle Farm over 2400 metres you would be more confident.

"He's drawn 15 which I'm hoping will be the place to be late in the day on Saturday."