Trainer Gerald Ryan will bypass Saturday’s Caulfield Cup with his tough stayer Ironstein in preference to a start in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6.
Ironstein ran a solid fourth to Shahwardi in the Group 2 $220,000 Sportingbet Herbert Power (2400m) at Caulfield last Saturday but Ryan and part owner John Singleton decided to skip Saturday’s Group 1 and aim the seven year old towards the Melbourne Cup.
“Singo said he didn’t care about the Caulfield Cup as long as he got into the Melbourne Cup,” Ryan said.
“The Moonee Valley Cup suits Ironstein better and that’s the way we will go.
“I also think the Caulfield Cup is a very good race this year.”
“I think he is going as well as he ever has even though he is a seven-year-old.”
“Although he hasn’t won since the Queen Elizabeth a year ago, he has run some great races and I’m very happy with him.”
The Zabeel gelding will line up instead in the Group 2 $250,000 Drake International Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 in his lead-up to the Melbourne Cup.
With Herbert Power winner Shahwardi also announced a Caulfield Cup non runner, the final spot in the eighteen horse field will be hotly contested possibly forcing the Melbourne Racing Club committee to have the last say in selecting the make-up of the field with several horses including Alcopop, Moudre, Sabrage and Tanby jostling for the final position.
Brendon Avdulla has regained the Caulfield Cup ride on Secret Admirer taking over from James McDonald after being replaced at the beginning of the mare’s Spring campaign.
Avdulla has a good association with the Grahame Begg trained mare with Group 1 wins in the 2010 $400,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) and last year’s $500,000 racingnetwork.com.au Epsom (1600m) both at Randwick.
“I’m over the moon to be riding her again,” Avdulla said.
“She’s been great to my career, gave me my first Group I win.”
“I think she’s looking for ground now and with 53kg, if she runs the mile and a half, she’s not out of it that’s for sure.”
Secret Admirer is well placed in the order of entry in the Caulfield Cup but is rated a $31 chance in early markets which sees the Gai Waterhouse trained import Glencadam Gold the $3.60 favourite ahead of December Draw at $6 and Dunaden at $8.