John Ryan determined for more despite positive start to season

Ryan has tipped Western Comandor for success after an indifferent start

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

John Ryan has 17 season wins under his belt but is hungry for more

Trainer John Ryan wants to spend more time in the winners’ enclosure, stating that his stable of horses have produced too many second-place finishes at the start of the season, writes Ben Hart.

The Tipperary trainer picked out Grange Walk and Western Comandor as two prized possessions he is expecting big things from over the next few months. 

My Gaffer’s win ahead of favourite Bukhill at Listowel in September provided a reminder of the quality on show at Ryan’s yard and the veteran is hoping he can make a charge up the leading trainer standings sooner rather than later. 

“We have had way too many seconds!” he joked. “We have a nice bunch of horses for the winter that we hope can win some nice races. 

“Grange Walk, for example, that was a horse that we left off this year.  

“He had a few falls and was unlucky that he didn’t win a few more. He went close at Leopardstown and has won a few nice races.  

“He is a very nice hurdler and very progressive horse that could turn out to be a very good grade two asset. On reflection, last season might have been getting a bit long for him.” 

Western Comandor is one of around 25 four-year-olds that Ryan is keeping a watchful eye on, and ran a close second in a very competitive field at Sligo in August.  

He has not been able to get over the line since then, but Ryan says it is only a matter of time before he shows his full potential.  

“I don’t know how he is getting beat because he is one of the best horses I have ever had,” said Ryan. 

“He has just got beat every time – he was second a few times in a few bumpers and I’m beginning to scratch my head about him.  

“He is a lovely horse, but he has got a knack of being beaten by a nose. Over hurdles, he has made a few stupid mistakes. He can just go through a little quiet patch in a race and he is just getting himself beat.” 

Ryan has 17 season wins to date and credits his support team in helping to establish him as one of the most revered trainers on the circuit, including his daughter Gillian, with the whole team buying into the Ryan ethos.  

“My daughter is a big help but we all work hard at what we do,” said Ryan.  

“For me, it's about giving horses time. I will not compromise on pedigree, though, because if you don’t have pedigree you’ll always come up short.” 

I don’t know how he (Western Comandor) is getting beat because he is one of the best horses I have ever had

- John Ryan

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