Wife’s gift horse a Cup tip
THE Basil Ryan-trained Castlemagne King, originally a birthday present for Ryan's wife Tracey, is thriving on salt water workouts in preparation for today's XXXX Gold Lismore Cup (2100m).
The Coffs Harbour-based trainer believes the eight-year-old gelding "is going equally as well if not better" than when an unlucky fourth to Southern Shimmer in last year's Lismore Cup.
"He's been down to the beach all week and feels really good. I don't work him on the track," Ryan said.
"He's been bouncing coming off the beach. We're ready for another throw at the stumps."
Since Ryan purchased Castlemagne King as a four month old weanling for his wife and the gelding's dam Plaza Athenee, Castlemagne King has recorded 11 wins, 19 placings and earned $147,860 from 84 starts. Listed among his wins is last year's Murwillumbah Cup.
"He's been as honest as the day is long. I can't complain," Ryan said.
"He's coming along good this campaign. He's not a wet tracker and he gets into the race with a very good weight (54kg).
"Last year he missed a couple of runs leading up to the Lismore Cup and while Southern Shimmer sprinted quicker than him he probably should have run second."
Castlemagne King has been in ultra-consistent form leading into the big race.
Four starts back he finished third to Gazza Guru and this afternoon's rival, the Bindi Cheers-trained Phrases in the Taree Cup (2000m) on August 18.
The gelding then scored over 2200m at Grafton on August 26 and has had two subsequent starts at Eagle Farm and Doomben, the latest when third to Mailing in a Benchmark 90, 2200m handicap on September 9 when ridden by Timothy Bell who keeps the mount at Lismore.
Ryan nominated the Bevan Laming trained Sea Skye (Michael Cahill), Phrases (Matthew Paget) and Special Miss (Anthony Pattillo) as the main dangers to Castlemagne King.