Experienced Gerald Ryan-trained gelding Ironstein silenced many critics with his runner-up effort in the Chairman’s Handicap and heads into Saturday’s 2012 Premier’s Cup as one of the top chances.
Many pundits had written off the son of Zabeel who began 2012 with three back field finishes but he bounced back to come home strongly two weeks ago when finishing less than a length behind eventual winner Hume.
Ironstein is being targeted for the Group 2 Brisbane Cup on June 9 but trainer Ryan believes he is in good condition to produce a result this weekend.
“The Brisbane Cup has been his mission all along but I wouldn’t be surprised if he won on Saturday,” Ryan said.
Ryan said the six-year-old keeps improving with age and expects him to continue his road of improvement when running from the inside barrier on Saturday.
Apprentice Josh Adams rode the gelding in his last two starts and will again be in the saddle this weekend for the $125,000 Group 3 event.
Ironstein has had a successful career to date, winning eight times and placing on another nine occasions from 38 starts on his way to collecting more that $700,000 in prize money.
Highlight victories came in 2011 when he won the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup at Eagle Farm and then backed up in the spring to take out the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington.
One concern for Ryan is the possibility of a wet track, with 20-30mm of rain expected to fall in the Queensland capital on Friday.
The gelding has won twice on wet tracks but is carrying the top weight of 58kg which could prove difficult if the surface gets into the slow or heavy range.
Some quality stayers will line up alongside Ironstein including Chairman’s Handicap winner Hume, promising Chris Waller-trained four-year-old Wazn and Dance With Her who is chasing a third consecutive victory.
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