A win by well-bred Chains Of Honour in the Group Three Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) would go down as one of Rosehill trainer Gerald Ryan’s most satisfying victories.
Ryan has trained about 175 stakes winners but few would have had a lead-up similar to Chains Of Honour’s in the $250,000 race at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
It will be only Chains Of Honour’s fourth race start and only his second this campaign.
Ryan believes Chains Of Honour needs only a genuinely run staying race to go close to winning.
“This horse has no pace at all. But he can stay and as long it is a staying test he will be thereabouts,” Ryan said.
Ryan said he decided to try something different with Chains Of Honour after also training the gelding’s older brother Heroic Fighter.
They are by champion sire Redoute’s Choice out of the multiple Group One-winning Shamardal mare Faint Perfume.
Trained by the late Bart Cummings, Fair Perfume won the 2009 VRC Oaks and the 2010 Vinery Stud Stakes.
“Heroic Fighter also had no pace. I put him in a 1600m race for his first start and he came from a long way back to run third,” Ryan said.
“He then won a race at 2000m second-up. I thought why not try the same with Chains Of Honour.”
Chains Of Honour won his first start in a Gosford two-year-old over 1600m before being beaten in a Randwick juvenile.
Ryan sent the gelding for a spell and got him back for a first-up win at Hawkesbury over 1800m on December 8.
“He had three trials and three jump-outs for his first win and two trials and some jump outs this time,” Ryan said.
“He is a horse who comes to hand quickly. I have been thinking about Chains Of Honour as a Queensland Derby horse for some time and this will be the first step.”
Melbourne-based Mark Zara will have a rare ride for Ryan on Chains Of Honour.
“Mark rides for Sun Bloodstock who own Chains Of Honour in Melbourne. He is in Brisbane for other rides on Saturday so I got him,” Ryan said.
Ryan won the Grand Prix with Reclaim in 2004.