Three Become Two, Double Up For Juveniles

The day started off perfectly but did end on a slightly sour note. With Ryan’s Party and Battyeford Boy gaining their first success’s, a third win for the 2yo team was short lived as King Of York fell foul of the stewards. Despite this unfortunate end, the day was a positive result. 

Ryan’s Party was a breeze up purchase and with a price tag of 200,000 gns he came with a reputation. It didn’t happen immediately but at the fourth attempt the powerful chestnut gained a first career success in the 6f EBF Maiden Stakes at Hamilton. 

Having made a promising debut, finishing runner up at the Scottish track, Ryan’s Party just failed to build on that. He was set a stern test next time out when going for a conditions race but that was won by the same horse who beat him first time out so it was a backwards as the distance increased three fold. When he struggled over 6f on his third start, the decision was made to geld the 2yo as he looked weak and it my help him fill into his powerful frame.

An opening mark of 76 looked fair on potential but Kevin opted to stuck with the maiden  route. He headed into the contest as the only one in the field with a handicap mark, meaning he also held the most experience. There was quite a lot of potential in the race with most of the 6 runners setting good benchmarks in their previous runs. Tom Eaves travelled up for the ride.

Despite his experience Ryan’s Party made a bit of a tardy start but it worked out for Tom as he quickly darted behind the rest of the field to race down toward the stands side, at the rear of the pack. It was the favourite who led the way through the early stages and set a good gallop. Ryan’s Party was giving his rivals a head start but he travelled well at the rear with the field charging downhill. 

Quickly through the first of the race, Ryan’s Party had inched closer and stalked his rivals. With the final furlong stiffening the test, the finish would really ensure the race would have an exciting conclusion. Tom angled his mount out as they moved into the final 2f. Seeing daylight for the first time Ryan’s Party made some smooth headway down the stands side and moved through looking dangerous. The leader was still travelling powerfully in front and this started to apply the pressure with the majority of the field coming under a ride to close the distance. Tom squeezed Ryan’s Party along and the chestnut made smooth headway, lengthening and starting to pick up. 

Ryan’s Party came to fore just before they entered the final furlong and joined the favourite Rosie’s Return. It made a front 3 but quickly it was the two market leaders who took control. The ground started to rise and Ryan’s Party had come through travelling very well but the fav was proving a very game competitor. Knowing his rival would not back down, Tom now asked Ryan’s Party to go and finish his race. He was taking a bit of time to really hit top gear as the leading pair started to pull away. The front two were neck and neck but as the finish began to test the stamina, Ryan’s Party nudged his nose to the front. Despite a very tough rival alongside him, Ryan’s Party took the lead with 100 yards to run and proved to be the stronger of the pair up the hill. He continued to find and moved into a 1/2 length lead to secure a first career win. 

It was nice to see Ryan’s Party get off the mark as he had shown plenty of promise on debut. Geldings are not always the perfect solution but it did seem to be the best option for Ryan’s Party and he did look a stronger individual throughout this contest. He travelled extremely well and saw the trip out well. After the gelding he would be entitled to come on for the run so to win is very pleasing. He should continue to improve and the way he finished the race suggests he may get a little further in time although he travelled like a sprinter. 

Early in the evening the double was secured with another 2yo tasting his first success, taking the season’s tally to 20 individual juvenile winners. Battyeford Boy had failed to make an impression over 6f but stepping up in trip and with first time blinkers he proved very game when taking the 7f Leicester Racecourse Ideal Wedding Venue Nursery Handicap at Leicester. 

The son of Galileo Gold was gelding early on in the year with the chestnut proving a little bit boisterous. He had shown promise at home which meant he began his career at York. Running well whilst also not quite concentrating on the job, Battyeford Boy would do the same at Thirsk next time out. It was his third run that really answered some questions and meant Kevin could hopefully plan a different route moving forward.

Battyeford Boy had shown that he probably wasn’t a sprinter and that his future would lie over 7f and even 1 mile further down the line. With an opening mark of 58 he had been given a chance but he wouldn’t be given too many if he didn’t start to build on it. To ensure he was going to give it every chance, blinkers were fitted to really help him focus on the task in hand. Shane Gray was booked for the ride as he looked to get a tune out of Battyeford Boy. 

Immediately the blinkers showed their affect as Battyeford Boy jumped smartly and was into his stride. Shane had wanted to be positive enough so he let the gelding bowl along as he liked. Tracking over from his draw, Battyeford Boy was to the fore and sat on the leader’s girths through the early stages. Part one of the task was done, Battyeford Boy had jumped well and put himself into the race but what would unfold at the business end?

It was a nice, even gallop throughout the contest which really suited all the 7 runners. Some were experienced at the trip whilst others were stepping up so it was a sensible pace.  As they raced up to the 4f pole the field veered over towards the stands side running rail and all seven runners were well bunched at this stage. Still pressing the leader Shane just had to nudge his mount for a couple of strides as the tempo did seem to increase as the field had tracked over. 

The race began to heat up at the 3f marker and the field got racing very early. The favourite had led from the off and tried to see off the rest. Due to having experience over 7f the fav wanted to test the rest of them and see if they had the stamina to challenge. Shane had covered this move and suddenly his mount came through to share the lead travelling much the sweeter. 

Neck and neck passing the 2f marker, the front two were looking to pull away and they began to, but the duo were soon to be joined. They had got into a battle some way out but with only one rival coming from out of the pack it looked as though the race had been run to suit. Battyeford Boy was proving very game in the first time headgear and responded to every urging he received. Shane was asking him to lengthen and put the race to bed. The chestnut did just that as he struck the front 1 1/2f from home, breaking the will of the favourite. 

Unfortunately the work was far from over and as soon as Battyeford Boy took the lead he was joined once more down the outer by Galileo Glass. The Pair locked horns and this was to be the real acid test for Battyeford Boy. He showed a great attitude and once he sensed his rival draw alongside the gelding changed legs and went again. Within strides he pulled away from his rival and took that momentum with him all the way to line, seeing out every yard of the trip to win by 1 1/2 lengths. 

Blinkers and the step up in trip have really seen Battyeford Boy put his best foot forward. It was very positive form the start and he proved to be very tough seeing off a couple of challenges. He saw out the new trip with no issue and looked as though an extra furlong may well be even more suitable. Winning off a mark of 58, Kevin may look to bounce him out again quickly under a penalty and utilise a fair mark because he won’t be staying on it for very much longer.