Ryan Happy With Civic Stakes Duo

Gerald Ryan has both Oakfield Commands and Capital Commander in the 2014 Civic Stakes and the veteran trainer is happy with the condition of both gallopers ahead of the Listed event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Oakfield Commands will be chasing back-to-back wins when he contests the Civic Stakes at Royal Randwick this weekend.

Oakfield Commands will be chasing back-to-back wins when he contests the Civic Stakes at Royal Randwick this weekend. Photo by: Steve Hart

Oakfield Commands made his racing debut for the Ryan stable in the Winter Dash (1200m) at Royal Randwick on June 21, after previously being prepared by Darren Smith and he scored his first race win in over a year with a fast-finishing performance against a strong field.

Ryan told TVN that he was very confident that Oakfield Commands would win the Winter Dash and he said that the Commands gelding had trainer on strongly heading into the Civic Stakes this weekend.

“He appears to have trained on really well and he is thriving,” Ryan said.

“I’ve only had him a couple of weeks but his first run was very pleasing

“I’m still learning about him but he certainly hasn’t gone backwards.

“I was expecting him to win first up; he worked really good on the Tuesday morning and he proved us right.”

Veteran mare Capital Commander is another new addition to the Ryan stable and the leading Sydney trainer said that the daughter of Commands will be racing for her future in the Civic Stakes on Saturday.

Capital Commander returned to the races, after a brief stint in the spelling paddock, with a sixth place finish behind Kristy Lee in the Instagram At ATC Races Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on June 21 and Ryan revealed that the rising seven-year-old will be retired to serve as a broodmare unless she impresses in the Civic Stakes.

“She has got to improve off her first-up run,” Ryan said.

“She needs to show something or she can go and be a mother without having another run.

“The plan was only to have two more runs.

“There is a Winter Stakes in a fortnight and then go to stud, but we might just send her to the barn early if she doesn’t run well.”

Kathy O’Hara has been booked to ride Capital Commander in the Civic Stakes, while Lester Grace has retained the ride on Oakfield Commands after steering him to victory at his last start.

Graeme Begg-trained Bennetta ($3.80) is currently a clear favourite in 2014 Civic Stakes betting markets; with Oakfield Commands available at a quote of $8.50 and Capital Commander the outside of the field at the lengthy odds of $51.

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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.