Ryan has summer goals for Chains Of Honour
He didn’t quite measure up to the best of his generation in the autumn but Chains Of Honour will be given the chance to make his presence felt in the off-season stakes races.
The four-year-old was midfield in both the Rosehill Guineas and ATC Australian Derby after claiming the Group Three Grand Prix Stakes in Brisbane last summer.
He resumes in the Kia Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill on Saturday and trainer Gerald Ryan is optimistic he is set for a fruitful preparation.
“We got him back in at this time of the year to aim him at those summer staying races,” Ryan said.
“He is a lot more mature and a lot stronger than what he was in the autumn.
“If you look at all the trials he’s had in his life and you look at his two trials this time in, they’ve probably been his best trials.”
Nor is Ryan concerned about Chains Of Honour’s fitness to tackle a middle-distance on resumption.
The horse has done plenty of groundwork with three jump outs in addition to his two official trials.
“I know he’s starting off over a long journey first up but he won his first start ever as a two-year-old over 1600 metres,” Ryan said.
“He won first-up this time last year over 1800 metres at Hawkesbury then went straight to 2200 metres in the Grand Prix.”
Ryan will also saddle up Fortress Command in the Quincy Seltzer Handicap (1500m).
The gelding scored a solid first up win at Warwick Farm but struggled on the heavy ground when unplaced behind Icebath last start.
With Rosehill again tipping into the heavy range on Friday, Ryan will monitor the conditions before deciding if Fortress Command will run.
The stable will also have a presence at Flemington on the final day of the Cup carnival with Standout set to contest the Group One VRC Sprint Classic.