Warrnambool trainer Simon Ryan is still coming to terms with the improvement of his sprinter Grandview Avenue who has graduated from restricted class to being a stakes winner this campaign.
His trainer was thrilled and slightly stunned that Grandview Avenue had won the Carlyon Stakes easily which gave him his first Listed winner.
The former jumps jockey only has a team of five in work.
Only six starts ago Grandview Avenue won a Benchmark 64 at Murtoa by seven lengths and since then he has added another three wins including back to back wins at The Valley.
Ryan decided to back Grandview Avenue up in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000 metres) after he won over 955 metres eight days before the race.
Ryan said he was surprised by the manner of Grandview Avenue’s victory in a race of that nature and how he had taken his game to another level.
“I thought he would be competitive but didn’t think he could win like that,” Ryan said.
Ryan said Grandview Avenue’s recent improvement was due to maturity but he also blamed himself.
“I’ve probably got to take a bit of the blame from previous preparations. I’ve tried to get him out to 1200 or a bit further,” Ryan said.
“That 955 metres to 1100 seems to be the key. I was very surprised to see him put a field like that away so easily.”
“He’s so placid and docile that I was looking for further, but keeping him to the shorter trips just seems to be agreeing with him.”
Ryan said it was definitely the highlight of his career.
“To be honest this has caught me completely off guard. We thought he’d run well but couldn’t have foreseen that,” Ryan said.
The win gave apprentice Teo Nugent his first Listed winner as a jockey.
The 22 year-old only had one ride at the meeting and said he had to make the most of his opportunities.
“It’s a very hard time of year and I’ve quietened down since I’ve been down to 1.5 kilos,” Nugent said.
“I’ve got about 23 winners left of my claim in town, and over the past couple of months I’m only coming to the races for two or three rides in the city and today I came here for one and that’s all we needed,” he said.
Grandview Avenue ($7.50) defeated Prophet’s Thumb ($5 equal fav) by 1 3/4 lengths with Prezado ($6) 1 1/2 lengths away third.