Ryan’s Fender has bounced off a fading Flemington performance to score a courageous all-the-way victory at Caulfield.
After disappointing trainer Matt Cumani with his eighth placing over 2000m that had followed successive wins at Flemington and The Valley, Cumani set about freshening the five-year-old.
Those tactics paid dividends on Saturday in The Big Screen Handicap after the gelding was threatened with defeat in the straight.
Ridden by Fred Kersley, Ryan’s Fender ($11) fought off King Of Leogrance ($4.60) by a head with Toryjoy ($8.50) three-quarter-of-a-length away third.
With Cumani in Sydney for the Inglis Classic Sale, assistant-trainer Andrew Bobbin said a campaign of racing every fortnight had caught up with Ryan’s Fender.
“I think he’s a horse that is now better placed spacing his runs,” Bobbin said.
“He went a win then two weeks, two weeks, two weeks and I think that told on him.
“It’s been a pretty good training effort by the boss and without giving away too many secrets the horse has had only the one gallop in that month.”
Bobbin praised Kersley’s ride on Ryan’s Fender by maintaining a steady tempo on the gelding.
“We did some analysis on his last run and he got to the front and dropped anchor,” Bobbin said.
“If you assess the way the horse goes he’s got a really high-cruising speed, so Fred kept the tempo solid and he was too strong for them.”