Blake Ryan keen to prove himself

Less than 12 months after welcoming the first horses through his stable, Blake Ryan will saddle up his first metropolitan runner and fittingly, it will be at Rosehill.

The son of prominent horseman Gerald Ryan, Blake spent many years working for his father at the western Sydney track while also establishing a successful business preparing ready-to-race yearlings for sale.

He still has his fingers in that pie while he builds his young team at Hawkesbury, but Blake Ryan is keen to prove himself and saddling up his first city runner – Critical Time in Saturday’s Midway Handicap (1300m) – is an important step in that direction.

“I have made a name as a trader, so now I’ve got to make a name as a trainer,” Ryan said.

Despite having grown up around thoroughbreds and having a host of mentors that include some of racing’s biggest names, Ryan says little prepared him for the reality of life as a young trainer.

The hours are unnaturally long and the rewards often scarce.

Ryan says the most important lesson he has taken away from his first year has been to trust his own judgement.

He saw first-hand what doing that can achieve when fellow Hawkesbury trainer Ed Cummings won the Queensland Oaks with Duais off an unconventional preparation.

“The biggest lesson I have learned is just to back yourself,” he said.

“You watch a bloke like Ed and he was just confident in what he did with that filly going seven weeks into an Oaks.

“He thought it was the right thing and he got it right.”

Critical Time was almost lost to Ryan twice after attracting the interest of Hong Kong buyers following some early barrier trial wins.

However, the deals fell through when the horse failed their stringent vet tests and Critical Time instead headed to the races, improving from his debut fifth at Hawkesbury to break his maiden at his second start.

A late nomination for Rosehill, Ryan says Saturday’s race is more about seasoning Critical Time for the future with a long-term view towards the 2023 Provincial Championships.

Since he saddled up his first runner, Divine Future, to win at Orange in February, Ryan has had another 27 starters and 21 of them have finished in the top five.

Most of his team are young, unraced horses that he hopes can lay the stable’s foundations.

“Of the 15 we have got in work, 10 of them haven’t raced,” Ryan said.

“That is going to make it a slow burn but you only need two or three of them to gallop and you’re away.

“While we have 15 here in work, there is always room for more.”

About RS NewsWire

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