It seems every trainer needs a European stayer in his stable and Gerald Ryan has joined the growing list with well-performed French import Martinvast.
The winner of three races from four starts in France, the four-year-old will be having his second barrier trial for Ryan at Rosehill on Tuesday.
Although he finished last of eight runners in a trial on November 7, Ryan was pleased with what he saw.
“I thought he trialled well even though he finished last,” Ryan said.
“He is a very nice horse who has won three times over distances in France.
“He came to me from OTI racing. They identified him from his runs in France and he is the only imported horse in my stable.”
Martinvast’s wins have been from 1950 metres to 2450 metres and he also has a third placing over 2000 metres to his credit.
OTI, which is headed by Terry Henderson and former Test cricketer Simon O’Donnell, has long sourced horses from overseas with the aim of winning the Melbourne Cup.
Their best result so far is a second with Bauer in 2008 when he ran the Bart Cummings-trained Viewed to a nose.
The most successful horse they have imported is Manighar, seventh and fifth in two Melbourne Cups before being turned into a weight-for-age star by Peter Moody last season.
Martinvast will be joined in the 1030m trial by stablemates Champagne Dynamite and Extraceed.
As he welcomes Martinvast to Australian racing, Ryan’s consistent stayer Ironstein is off for a well-deserved spell.
After missing a start in the Melbourne Cup for the second year in a row, Ironstein has his first attempt at 3200 metres in Saturday’s Sandown Cup, finishing a tiring seventh behind OTI import Ibicenco.
Ryan had been keen to get Ironstein to the distance and was uncertain whether he didn’t run it out because he couldn’t or because he was at the end of a hard campaign.
“All I know is he didn’t run 3200 metres on Saturday,” Ryan said.