Kevin Ryan: My Five To Follow

Kevin Ryan is one of the leading flat trainers in Yorkshire. The Hambleton-based trainer has enjoyed plenty of success in big sprints including Temple Stakes, Middle Park, Prix de l’Abbaye and more, whilst also landing the Wokingham and Ayr Gold Cup in recent years. He’s also enjoyed French Derby success with The Grey Gatsby, and is preparing for another big season ahead.

Brando – Dual Group winner who won the Ayr Gold Cup off top weight last season. Third in the Group One Champion Sprint, and the five-year-old won the Group Three Abernant on his first start of the season.

“He improved throughout last year, he’s got a couple of group threes on his resume. I thought he was really impressive when winning at Newmarket at the start of this year. He’s goes in the Duke Of York, which we think he has a leading chance in especially with the rain that’s come. I think he should be a big player for all of the top sprints this season. Hopefully he can go well today.”

Syphax – Godolphin three-year-old who won both starts last season, including the Group Three Acomb at York. He beat Best Of Days, who went on to win the Royal Lodge on his next start. He was last seen finishing second in a 1m conditions race at Newcastle.

“He’s one going to the Dante and he ran well in a mile conditions race at Newcastle the last time out, but the trip was just a little too sharp for him. He’s still work in progress for us but William Buick was very complimentary about him. He felt the step up in trip would suit, so our plans is the Dante first and possibly progress into a Derby or French Derby type of horse.”

Laughton – Four-year-old rated 82. Ran two times this season finishing seventh at Redcar and fourth at Doncaster in 5f handicaps. Has won three times all at 5f.

“He reminds me a bit of Brando was last year, they have a similar profile. He looks like there’s a lot of him, and he hasn’t quite produced his best in the last couple of runs but has travelled extremely well. We feel there is plenty more to come from him, he could definitely be a sprinter to follow. We hope he can be a ‘big Saturday’ runner, just like Brando was for us last season. He’s certainly one to keep an eye on.”

Vj Day – Unraced two-year-old. Out of two time American Grade One winner Sassy Image, and sired by War Front.

“He’s a nice looking two-year-old and he should run at York sometime soon. He’s by War Front and he’s come to hand pretty early, but he’s got plenty of scope and should continue progressing throughout the year. He’s very nice at home for us, hopefully he can do himself justice and rise to the occasion on his debut. He should progress nicely throughout the year.”

Weekend Offender – Four-year-old whose won two mile handicaps and a seven furlong maiden last season. He was last seen finishing third at Nottingham, and is rated 89.

“He was a good horse last year and progressed as a three-year-old. He’s going off on a mark of 89. He ran really well at Nottingham but just didn’t get a gap when needed. I think he would’ve gone quite close to winning that day. The form of that race has worked out quite well now too, with the winner (ITN entry George William) finishing in second in the Victoria Cup. I think he’s one that will definitely progress. He’s probably best over 1m2f, and he just didn’t quite get into the race at York today. He’s a nice horse, and one to improve with time too.”

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