He's the best bush rider you can get.Michael Mulholland on Greg Ryan
A new season may have started but it's still the same old Greg Ryan.
The champion jockey showed all his class on Monday as he produced a perfectly-timed ride aboard Steamin' to take out the $32,000 Bankstown Sports Club Forbes Cup (1600m).
Ryan rode more winners than any other jockey in the state last season and while he missed out at Coonamble and Muswellbrook on the weekend, he won the one that mattered at Forbes.
"What do you say about Greg Ryan?" cup winning trainer Michael Mulholland told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-race.
"He's the best bush rider you can get. When he retires I don't know who'll take his place. I've got no idea."
The victory not only continued Ryan's fine run, but also that of Steamin'.
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Trained at Wellington by Mulholland, the eight-year-old veteran is racing in career-best form and his feature on Monday came after a strong victory in open company at Dubbo last time out.
The cup win was a hugely impressive one.
Steamin' ($4.20) settled last when the field jumped in front of a strong Forbes crowd, as Bryan's Babe ($5.50) set the early pace.
Gentleman Max nudged into the lead as the field approached the bend for home, while Ryan started to move his way forward from last.
Amthaal ($3.50) also started to loom but in the straight Ryan was able to manoeuvre his way and find a hole and powered through before Steamin' showed a great turn of foot in the final 100m.
He went on to win by half-a-length from Amthaal while Gentleman Max was third.
It was the eighth win from 46 starts for Steamin' while it was the second win from 11 starts since making the move south to Mulholland's stables.
"When I got him from Queensland he had feet troubles all the way around," the trainer said.
"It was hard to sort him out but I spelled him and gave him a break to get him over his problems and he's going good."
The win was the only one Ryan scored on the day
"He's going really well," the jockey said.
"He gave me a nicer ride than he did at Dubbo (last start).
"He's really hitting the line hard."
There was no luck for Dubbo trainers at Forbes, but Connie Greig did score a pair of third-place finishes through Southern Strategy and Get Up Alby.