Trainers Ryan and Alexiou aim to continue hot start to the year

They’ve had six winners (26%) from 23 runners since New Year’s Eve and the Rosehill training combination of Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou will be looking to continue that momentum with three gallopers nominated for this Saturday’s Carrington Stakes meeting at Royal Randwick.

After a somewhat disappointing performance in the Group 2 Villiers, their All Too Hard gelding Steely will line up in the $150,000 Listed Carrington Stakes over 1400m, and co-trainer Ryan is using it as a stepping stone for bigger fish to fry later in the carnival. This weekend will mark six weeks in between runs for five-year-old.

“He’s freshened up really well,” Ryan said.

“I wouldn’t expect him to be able to win a race like this, but going forward we want to go to 1600m in a couple of weeks and then later into the Parramatta Cup (on February 19 over 1900m).”

Steely has already built up an impressive record with eight wins and three placings from 21 outings, and over $430,000 in earnings.

Another stable stalwart is their five-year-old entire Bottega, who is down to contest the Benchmark 88 Handicap over 1600m. The Snitzel progeny was given a soft trial on his home surface this morning in an experiment to see if the application of shades would do the trick.

“I whipped a pair of blinkers on him to try and get him to be a bit sharper, but I don’t think they worked,” Ryan said.

“He’s too keen in them so he won’t race in them. I don’t think he likes them.

“But he’s had a bit of a blow out, got the cobwebs out and we’ve got him leaving the barriers better.”

Whilst not having the same strike rate as stablemate Steely, Bottega is another campaigner who has more than paid his way for connections with three wins and seven placings from 21 starts and over $480,000 in earnings.

In the 3YO Benchmark 72 Handicap over 1100m Ryan and Alexiou will saddle up Flying Crazy who did an admirable job in his first campaign. Only last time out before the spell did he finish just four lengths behind Caulfield Guineas winner Anamoe in the Group 2 Run To The Rose at Kembla Grange. Anamoe would start at a prohibitive quote if he lined up in this weekend’s contest.

“He’s done well since, I think he’s a nice horse,” Ryan said.

“He’s improved since last preparation and he went quite well at Kembla.

“He’s come back well, his trial was satisfactory and I am really happy with him.”

As to what other horses are putting their hoofs up as we head towards the autumn carnival, Ryan is a bit wary to go the early crow, but has his binoculars set on a few that are showing potential.

“Unfortunately, there are no Trapeze Artists hanging around the three-year-old ranks,” Ryan lamented.

“It’s a bit early yet but we’re starting to build up.

“Nasturtium is a nice horse, I’ve got a lot of time for him. He’s in on Friday night (at Canterbury). And two-year-olds Boyfriend and Williamsburg both trialled good this morning.

“There’s a handy team there and if we put them in their right races they’ll probably be able to win.”

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