DON and Andrew Ryan’s stable star Somebody will make her return to the turf at this Friday’s Orange showcase meeting after spending almost half a year away from racing.
Somebody, to be ridden by Eleanor Webster-Hawes, will come up against some of country racing’s big names when she jumps in the $35,000 Train 365 Cup Day Showcase Sprint (1,000 metres).
The mare has been a top performer herself for the Bathurst trainers, racking up six wins from 16 starts, and has only missed a placing twice on country tracks.
Andrew Ryan hopes his mare can continue her strong first up record but knows it will be a difficult task in the nine-horse race.
“She’s been off the scene for a long time and we’ve had a few little problems with her. This race seemed like the logical starting point to get her back into racing,” he said.
“She’s such a big, heavy mare. The sheer weight of her means she puts a lot of pressure on herself and that’s something we’ve got to watch. Hopefully we’ve got through her problems and she can have a good run.
“We’re more hopeful than confident with her. This race is just a nice starting point for her. A little bit of dampness in the track would certainly help but that doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case.
“When you can get her going she’s a really nice galloper and that’s why we persevere with her.”
Among the challengers in Friday’s race are Luke Pepper’s recent Randwick placegetter Viceroy plus the past two Bill Aspros Cup champions Final Trick (2018, Mitchell and Desiree Kearney) and Zahron (2017, Andrew Molloy).
Joe Cleary’s filly Lucy Rose will be one to also watch after winning her first start this preparation, and her second-up form is exceptional.
The Orange meeting wasn’t the original destination for Somebody but the father-son training duo.
“We intended to run her in the Wellington Town Plate but she drew barrier 18 in an 18 horse race. It was pointless going out from there against a quality field like that,” Andrew Ryan said.
“It would have been too tough. That field was an even better one than this race [at Orange]. In her first start back it would have been asking too much of her.”
Co-incidentally the mare has once again drawn the widest barrier.
If Somebody is victorious in her Towac Park debut she will pass the $100,000 prizemoney mark.
Somebody boasts a handy first-up record, finding two wins and a placing from four runs.
The sprint is the precursor to the day’s $65,000 feature Orange Showcase Cup (2,100m). No Bathurst trainers will have a runner in the event.
The Ryans also have Annecy making her return to the track in the day’s final event, the Benchmark 60 Showcase Handicap (1,300m).
Annecy is just one of several Bathurst-trained chances in the race along with Art ‘N’ Ollie, Repentant (Dean Mirfin) and Catcha Crown (Peter Stanley).
Orange’s eight-race meet begins at 12.15pm.