Consistent sprinter Deploy earned an extended winter carnival campaign when he outgunned Dothraki to win the Group Two Moreton Cup at Doomben on Saturday.
Last week connections of Deploy decided against paying the first acceptance fee for next Saturday’s $1.5 million Group One Stradbroke Handicap and are unlikely to lodge a late entry fee.
“At this stage he’s a Group Two winner and there’s a lot of races that are suitable for him apart from the Stradbroke,” Sterling Alexiou, representing trainer Gerald Ryan, said.
“He’s always shown super ability at home and he’s come on in leaps and bounds his past two preparations.
“For for him to come to a Group Two today and win is fantastic.”
Alexiou said the Group Three Healy Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on June 24 shaped as the next winter carnival goal for Deploy.
There was plenty of personal satisfaction for Ryan as Deploy, the $4.80 favourite, fought off a challenge from former stablemate Dothraki ($5), ridden by Hugh Bowman, to win by a long neck.
“Hughie poured the pressure on a long way out from home and got him off the bit and I was just hoping Deploy would rally which he did,” Alexiou said.
Tim Clark was impressed with the determination Deploy showed when Dothraki ranged alongside in the straight.
“The runner-up is no slouch and is still a well-performed horse so for him to fight back and win was a terrific effort,” Clark said.
Fourth placegetter The Virginian ($5.50) was 18th on the order of entry for the Stradbroke before the Moreton and remains a borderline chance of making it into the field for Brisbane’s premier sprint.