Ryan sends Regards to Adelaide

Regardsmaree hits the front and heads for home in the Anniversary Vase at Sandown on Saturday. 279088 Pictures: PAT SCALA/RACING PHOTOS

By David Nagel

Tough-as-teak gelding Regardsmaree has earned himself a trip to Adelaide after a stirring victory in the Listed $160,000 Anniversary Vase (1400m) at Sandown Hillside on Saturday.

The now five-year-old – out of So You Think/Rossa Mia – was originally an exciting prospect for Ballarat trainer Henry Dwyer, but is now thriving after switching to the camp of Nick Ryan at Flemington towards the end of 2020.

Regardsmaree won four of his first five races for Ryan, but hadn’t greeted the judge – until this preparation – since February last year.

But Ryan and his gelding are quickly making up for lost time, winning the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m) at Caulfield last week, before backing up for Saturday’s Listed win at Sandown.

Ryan was thrilled with the victory, and equally excited about the ride of jockey Billy Egan who carried out instructions to the letter.

“We had a plan and he executed it 150 percent,” Ryan said post-race.

“We were a little bit worried about letting Buffalo River get out of sights, so I told him to go forward and aim for the one-one and work it out from there.

“And it was lucky he did because we probably wouldn’t have run him down otherwise.

“This is good, I’ve got some great owners that I’ve had some great luck with and to get a Stakes winner for them today is very rewarding.”

Despite the quick back-up Ryan was confident heading into Saturday’s contest, and now has high hopes of a tilt at the Group-1 $750,000 Goodwood Handicap (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday 14 May.

“We love him on the back up, obviously we wouldn’t have run him today if we didn’t think he was well,” Ryan explained.

“He was hard and fit and we might have an exciting three weeks ahead…we might keep him fresh and go to Adelaide now.”

One thing Regardsmaree will need in Adelaide is good gate manners, and jockey Egan said the gelding had been on his best behaviour over the last fortnight

“I’ve been very fortunate because the last two weeks he’s began very well and that just makes my job so much easier when he’s willing to begin from the gates cleanly,” Egan said.

“I just had to stay neutral, not panic, and we had plenty of time down the back straight to find a position from there.”

Egan said two tough runs and a light weight had Regardsmaree primed for a great run in the Goodwood.

“This week was a little less hard work, because I didn’t have to throw him across the line, but I think the Goodwood could be within reach, with a light weight,” Egan said.

“And I’ve noticed the last two times I’ve ridden him he appreciates coming off a good speed, and there’ll be good speed in a race like that.

“He’ll be the one chiming in late.”

Regardsmaree has now won eight of 27 starts and amassed an impressive $660,000 in prizemoney.

Other highlights at Sandown included an early race-to-race double for jockey Beau Mertens, while Matthew Cartwright also rode two winners on the card on Agreeable and Starry legend.

Racing next returns to Sandown on Wednesday 11 May.