Experienced horseman Darryl Ward will have his first Brisbane runner as a trainer with Land Office at Doomben.
Ward has taken over as the trainer of Land Office, who runs in Saturday’s Spicers Balfour Hotel Hcp (1200m), from his former boss trainer Steele Ryan who has retired.
Ryan had his last runner with Another Whiskey at Caloundra last Saturday.
Among Ryan’s leading horses have been Chinchilla Rose, Jasminka, Steel Lips, Cariad and Deer Valley.
Ryan has mixed training with running a manufacturing business for the past five years.
“It was getting to be a bit tiring. But I have had a great back-up in Darryl and the transition should be smooth,” Ryan said.
Ward has been stable foreman for Ryan for the past four years and owner Ron Wanless had no hesitation giving him Land Office to train.
“I am originally from Cunnamulla (in western Queensland) and went to NSW to work with trainers such as Albert Stapleford,” Ward said.
“Then came an opportunity to train in Western Australia so I took it. We had a bit of success over there. But I have two young daughters and my partner and I thought the opportunities were better in Queensland.”
Ward said he had learned a lot from Ryan and would continue to call on him for advice.
“I will keep the team pretty small at the moment until I feel my way,” he said.
Ward is confident Land Office can give the Doomben race a real shake despite being beaten into fourth in the Rockhampton Newmarket as the equal favourite.
“He wanted to over-race at his last start when in the Rockhampton Newmarket. Rockhampton has a long straight and you don’t want to over-race there,” he said.
Ward has booked 3kg-claiming apprentice Ruby Ride for Land Office which will reduce his weight to 51 kg.
“It looks like the strongest race of the day so the claim will help him,” Ward said.
He is looking forward to the future but wants to consolidate before getting too carried away.
“As my dad always said you don’t want to end up like the bloke who digs pot holes – starting at the top and finishing at the bottom,” Ryan said.