Ryan: Columbus Circle ‘hard to beat’

Progressive three-year-old Columbus Circle has significantly matured both physically and mentally since his debut victory according to trainer Nick Ryan.

The son of Street Boss is the $2.10 favourite with Sportsbet for Friday night’s VOBIS Gold Carat (1200m) at The Valley as a result of his impressive maiden win where he had to overcome being held up at crucial stages down the straight at Caulfield earlier this month.

“He’s mentally much more switched on and has definitely come on since that run,” Ryan said.

“I didn’t have him wound up for that race so physically he has really improved too.

“It’s a nice field and I really respect a horse like Hawkshot, but from what he showed first-up and since that run I’m thinking my guy is going to be tough to beat on Friday night.

“I’m also really happy with barrier six, from there he’ll bounce and be thereabouts.

“There is a slight query that he’s never been to The Valley before, unfortunately he wasn’t able to gallop there in the lead-up, but I hopeful he’ll be fine.”

Columbus Circle holds a nomination for the $1 million Australian Guineas and Ryan said that all going well that will be his path with a possible lead-up run in the C.S. Hayes Stakes.

But the Caulfield trainer already showed in spring, when the horse didn’t debut because of a foot abscess, that he won’t push the gelding further than he needs.

“Absolutely, I’ve always had a good opinion of him but like what happened in the spring, there’s no way I’ll push him further than he can cope with in these early stages,” he said.

“While we do have a nomination for the Guineas it’s a tough ask for a horse only in his first prep, so there’s certainly no guarantees that’s where he’ll go, even if he shows he’s up to that level.”

Friday’s VOBIS Gold Carat is the fourth leg of the VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series with the three year-olds racing for $180,000 in prizemoney and bonuses, an increase of $30,000 on last year’s edition of the race.

Ryan said the prizemoney on offer made the race too good to pass up for his exciting youngster.

“It’s so great that this kind of money is on offer for these young horses at all, let alone in these summer months, it really was too good to not race him in,” he said.



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