Red Excitement’s physical strength is matched only by his mental toughness and will to win, traits Gerald Ryan believes can take him to new heights.
The gelding shoots for his fifth consecutive win when he runs in the Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington on Saturday and punters have rallied to back him into favouritism.
But his biggest victory came during the 10 months between the third and fourth runs of his winning streak which was spent recovering from an injury to a tendon suffered when he shared a 1600-metre success in a dead heat with Kinnersley at Randwick.
“He didn’t bow the tendon but he whacked his leg in the race and weakened the fibres,” Ryan said.
Rather than have him stand in a paddock for months resting his leg, Ryan and the owners enlisted the help of accomplished equestrian Tim Boland who runs Limitless Lodge, an agistment and rehabilitation facility on the NSW Central Coast.
“He was never out of work the whole time he was off,” Ryan said.
“He kept going back and forth between the stable and Tim’s place. We would do a lot of walking with him and then he would go to Tim’s and spend time on the water walker.
“He showed the benefits of that with his first-up win.”
That win was over 1400m at Rosehill under 61kg.
He carries 58.5kg in the Chester Manifold (1400m) and will once again be ridden by Brenton Avdulla who also rides stablemate Qfighter who runs in the 1200m benchmark 90.
Qfighter laid out during his last-start 10th behind Haussman over 1300m at Rosehill and his trainer said it was time to try something new.
“We thought we would give him a go down the straight because he seems to lose ground around the turns,” Ryan said.
If Red Excitement performs as well as Ryan hopes, he will most likely race his was out of handicaps and his trainer will look to weight-for-age races.
“He is just such an honest horse and tries his guts out no matter what sort of race he is in,” Ryan said.