HAMBLETON trainer Kevin Ryan reports star sprinters Hot Streak and Astaire to be in rude health ahead of their respective engagements at Royal Ascot next week.
Hot Streak was slightly disappointing when bidding for back-to-back triumphs in the Temple Stakes at Haydock last month, but Ryan is looking forward to sending his charge back to Berkshire for Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes, a race in which he finished a close third 12 months ago.
Diamond Jubilee Stakes candidate Astaire is also on something of a recovery mission.
The four-year-old made a winning start to his campaign in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket and although he ran well in the Duke of York, he was only fifth on his latest appearance in the Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh.
“Hot Streak is in great form and will go for the King’s Stand and Astaire will go for the Jubilee,” said Ryan.
“Both horses are in really good order with themselves and all their fast work is finished now. We’ll keep them nice and fresh, they are tough races, but every race is a tough race at Ascot. I couldn’t be happier with both my horses.”
The master of Hambleton Lodge is planning to send a pair of juveniles on the trip south, with impressive Haydock debut winner Ashadihan an interesting contender for the Albany Stakes. Areen will run in either the Windsor Castle or the Norfolk. And Ryan Moore is set to ride Ryan’s The Grey Gatsby in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
The dual champion jockey steered the Kevin Ryan-trained grey to victory in the Dante at York, the French Derby at Chantilly and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown during a brilliant 2014 campaign and has also been on board twice this year, filling the runner-up spot behind French star Solow in Dubai before finishing fourth in last month’s Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.
Moore will certainly not be short of options in Berkshire next week, but Ryan is hopeful he will keep the partnership intact with his stable star in the main event on the second day of the Royal meeting.
Ryan said: “We’re nearly sure Ryan is going to ride him. It’s a big bonus having Ryan.
“He (The Grey Gatsby) is in great order and did his final piece of work this morning. We’re right where we want to be with him and he’ll be going there 100 per cent.”
Ryan has one eye on a return to York for the Juddmonte International in August and a potential tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the autumn.
He added: “I’d love to win the Juddmonte on our local track, but we’ll take any Group Ones we can get. The Arc would be quite exciting, stepping up to a mile and a half.”