The horse is ready and the weather looks promising, now Gerald Ryan’s only concern before the world’s richest turf race is that he doesn’t screw it all up.
Ryan has prepared Deploy for the $10 million Everest sprint at Randwick on Saturday, eyeing the $5.8 million prize for first place as he fills the slot held by his Rosehill neighbour and friend and rival, Chris Waller whose own stable found itself without a suitable candidate.
Deploy had a solid gallop at Rosehill on Tuesday with Ryan excited about The Everest.
“You’ve got Group One winners from nearly every state in Australia,” Ryan said.
“You’ve got the current Golden Slipper winner (She Will Reign), you’ve got the current Magic Millions winner (Houtzen), and I just reckon it’s the best sprint race I’ve ever seen assembled in Australia.”
Five-year-old Deploy has won half of his 16 starts, crossing first in his two Group Three sprints since August setting a Randwick 1200m-record before clocking the fasted 1300 metres run at Rosehill in the Theo Marks Stakes.
“After he won the Show County, Chris Waller mentioned it to me on the Monday morning and I said ‘Jeepers Chris, I don’t know if he’s quite good enough’,” Ryan said.
History soon repeated itself when Deploy won the Theo Marks and Waller came knocking again.
“The way he worked this morning, I reckon he is at his best and he’s very free in his action. He’s bright and happy with himself and he looks terrific,” Ryan said.
“Now I just hope I don’t bugger it up between now and Saturday.”
Ryan seemed unfazed by the looming rain clouds.
“It’s going to be a high-pressure race and quite amazing if you did get rain. I think nearly every horse in the race except for Redkirk Warrior has wet-track form,” he said.
The barrier draw fulfilled Ryan’s wishes with Deploy to jump from seven of 12 after the trainer expressed a preference for a gate between four and eight.
“He’s a horse who’s a tough horse. He’s on pace, he’s a grinder, loves a fight, so if he can get into the right spot then well the only reason he won’t win is because he’s not good enough.”
“I never dreamt I’d have a horse in it, especially not this horse at that stage.
“He was still a Benchmark horse when they announced it, but I just reckon it’s a great concept and it’s got the imagination of everyone. Not only Australia’s going to be watching, it’s going to be watched worldwide, and I reckon it’s a great idea.”