Sep 23 2017
The temptation to run Washington Heights in the Epsom Handicap is strong after his qualifying win in the Shannon Stakes at Rosehill but connections will let the dust settle on his Group Two win.
Trainer Gerald Ryan had to convince his owners to run over the 1500 metres of Saturday's Shannon, but is reluctant to back him up seven days after he proved that distance was well within his range.
Sent out at $4.80, Washington Heights came from the tail of the field to post a half-length victory over Mighty Lucky ($41).
"I'm sure he would get 1600 metres on that performance even though I had to talk everyone into running him over 1500," Ryan said.
"But I think we have found the key to him which is to space his runs three or four weeks apart.
"This race was always his aim and he has had four starts this preparation which was always the plan.
"But he is in the Epsom with 50 kilos and can't get a penalty for winning today so of course it's tempting.
"We won't make a decision on race day but I doubt it and I wouldn't want to send him to Melbourne because the tracks are too hard."
Washington Heights did his early racing for Ryan and was twice Group Three-placed before being sent to Hong Kong to race under Paul O'Sullivan.
Although he won two races, he had some joint problems and managing owner David Raphael arranged to have him brought home where he has won three races from four starts in his latest campaign.
Kerrin McEvoy has ridden him to all those wins and said he had continued to thrive.
"Gee he is loving it back in Australia this horse," he said.
"He settled a long way off them there today but he picked them up really stylishly.
"It's nice to be on the back of a horse that has got as many gears as this guy has got."
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