Group 1 ‘deis beckons for Nick Ryan

Trainer Nick Ryan is confident about his chances of a maiden Group 1 success with Mahamedeis thriving for his $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby bid.

Mahamedeis came up with barrier 20 of 21 – into 15 of 16, with only well-tried filly Youngstar to his outside – but prior to Wednesday’s draw, Ryan reported his Magnus gelding was loving his time up north.

After drawing 10 of 15, Mahamedeis settled back and finished strongly for fifth in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes, a traditional Derby lead-in.

The VOBIS Gold 3YO Sires winner will be his first Group 1 runner as a trainer, although he competed, and placed in, several as a rider, and won at Group 2 and 3 level.

“He’s going terrific; he’s really thrived since he’s come up to Queensland,” Ryan told After The Last on Tuesday night.

“We’ve been up here three weeks now, and he went into Doomben for a gallop on the course proper this morning, and I’m very happy with him.”

Ryan said they were planning to put the blinkers back on and remove the visor from Mahamedeis, and while they didn’t get a low draw, it won’t have sapped the energy from the one-time Melbourne premiership-winning jockey.

“Very exciting. It’s getting close now. The build up has been good,” Ryan added.

“I’ve only been training about three years, so to have a live chance in a Group 1, is fantastic.

“There’s about 18 or 19 owners, and I’m pretty sure they’ll all be here.”

With some rain forecast for Stradbroke Handicap Day, Ryan said he feels Mahamedeis would be fine with wet ground – having had two goes on a Soft surface thus far for two minor placings.

“Untested [on Heavy], but I’m not worried – I’m sure he’ll handle it. He’s worked on it before,” Ryan said.

“I galloped him myself on the course proper this morning, and it was quite wet, and he felt terrific.

“Whether the rain comes, wet or dry, I’m sure he’ll handle all conditions.”



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