BATHURST trainers Don and Andrew Ryan are making a tilt in one of regional NSW’s biggest spring thoroughbred races this Sunday when they send Annecy around in the $60,000 Dubbo Gold Cup.
Annecy heads north for the feature event with encouraging form on her side.
If her first start back earlier this month is anything to go by then Annecy has to be considered a contender despite the step up in class.
Annecy stormed down the middle of the Mudgee straight to surge through the field and come up just a head short of No Escape.
Even after receiving a four point rise from the handicapper Annecy still enters the Dubbo Gold Cup as a minimum weight contender.
“Her last two runs have been very good. We’re very happy with her. They’ve been in better class races. She’s really stepping up,” Andrew Ryan said.
“She’s made gradual improvements along the way. Her run the other day at Mudgee was really good.
“We’re keeping realistic expectations with her. This is a big step up in grade and quality but she deserves a chance in a race like this.”
Annecy returns to a track she’s formed a love affair with.
The Sebring mare has raced over the 1600m at Dubbo on three occasions and come away with a win twice.
In her last visit to Dubbo, in April, she made a beautifully timed sprint to the line over the mile to win by a neck.
She retains regular jockey Eleanor Webster-Hawes for the race, someone Ryan was quick to praise.
She deserves a chance in a race like this.Andrew Ryan
“El knows her really well. We just leave it up to her now,” he said.
“We’re very fortunate to have her. We’d be lost without her. She rides our horses the way we like them ridden.
“To be able to take a horse into races like this is great, and she’s a mare who always gives her best.”
Webster-Hawes also has a strong record at Dubbo and took out the Flying Handicap with the Ryan-trained Somebody during last year’s Gold Cup day.
With no Dubbo horses in Sunday’s $60,000 feature, Annecy is one of the more local hopes.
Michael Mulholland, who trains at Wellington, will be popular with many as he prepares Steamin’ for the Gold Cup, while Gayna Williams is looking for back-to-back wins with Wild Cavalier after taking out the prelude event at the Dubbo Turf Club last month.
Racing starts at 12.40pm on Sunday with the Dubbo City Toyota Gold Cup (1600m) at 4.52pm.