Courageous gelding Red Excitement has likely earned a shot at the Group One CF Orr Stakes by extending a winning streak in the Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington.
The Gerald Ryan-trained galloper notched his fifth-straight win and second since his return from a tendon injury when he got home by a half-head over Tried And Tired in Saturday’s Listed 1400-metre race.
Ryan said the five-year-old has become harder to place because of his winning run but is looking to give the honest galloper his chance at the highest level at weight-for-age next month.
“If there was a (suitable) race in Sydney for him I’d stay in Sydney, but I don’t think there is. And why not have a crack,” Ryan said.
“He might have to step there now. He’s used to carrying big weights and he’s had two runs under his belt now while the better horses might be first-up.”
Red Excitement spent 10 months working towards a return to the races from a tendon issue before scoring a first-up win in Sydney under a big weight last month.
Ryan pinpointed the Chester Manifold as a suitable target and jockey Brenton Avdulla gave up a good book of rides in Sydney to continue his association with a horse he describes as a stable favourite.
Lord Of The Sky rolled along in the lead in Saturday’s race but he tired in the last 100m and was overhauled by his rivals to finish seventh.
Red Excitement, the $4 favourite, made his run down the centre of the track, narrowly getting home in front of Tried And Tired ($5) with Whisper Downs running home strongly out wide for a first-up third, another neck away.
“He just gets his head down and has a dig and keeps coming,” Ryan said.
“He’s no star but he knows where the post is.”
Avdulla, like Ryan, labelled it a satisfying win and was pleased to make the trip to Melbourne count.
“He’s not the easiest horse to ride but every time he goes to the races you know he’s going to try his guts out for you and as a jockey that’s all you can ask for,” he said.
Avdulla was fined $500 for using the whip twice more than allowed before the 100m.