WASH­ING­TON AU­DI­TION­ING FOR G1 TILT

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MATT JONES

GER ALD Ryan has Group 1 plans for Wash­ing ton Heights if he per forms to the sta­ble’s ex­pec­ta­tions to­mor­row at Rose­hill Gar­dens.

Wash­ing ton Heights will be out to con­tinue his good form this prepa­ra­tion in the Group 2 $200,000 Shan­non Stakes (1500m) af ter re­turn­ing from a stint in Hong Kong ear­lier in the year.

It will be his third run this time in af ter a luck­less first-up ef­for t fol­lowed by de­ter­mined win last star at Rand­wick.

He beat Dawn Wall that day af ter look­ing de­feated inside the fi­nal 100m be­fore fight­ing back late to snatch a win.

Ryan could send him for a spell af ter to­mor­row’s run to pre­pare the Magic Mil­lions, but he has even big ger plans in mind if the six-year-old records con­sec­u­tive wins.

Ryan be­lieves Wash­ing ton Heights could be his Don­caster Mile horse at The Cham­pi­onships next April.

“The whole idea of go­ing to 1500m with him now is to see where he can go in the au­tumn,” he said.

“I don’t think it (1500m) will be a worr y be­cause I’ve al­ways thought he’d be a miler. “I think he is (my Don­caster horse).” Ryan said pun­ters shouldn’t worr y about the last place fin­ish of Wash­ing ton Heights the last time he ran over 1600m in the Car­bine Club Stakes in 2015 be­fore he went to Hong Kong.

“He pulled up sore af ter his first run at a mile so I don’t think that ’s a true guide. He’s a half-brother to Sup­ply And De­mand who couldn’t run 1400m at one point but ended up win­ning 2400m races,” Ryan said.

To­mor­row Wash­ing ton Heights will take on a small field which will in­clude Dawn Wall, the Chris Waller-trained mare which turned in an eye-catch­ing first-up run the last time they met.

She’s won her only sec­ond-up star t of an eight-run ca­reer and will be pres­sur­ing Ryan’s run­ner again in a race that sets up even bet­ter for her this time.

But Wash­ing ton Heights was still a $3 favour tive with pun­ters on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

“He’s done re­ally well since his last star t. He’s a straight-for ward horse who doesn’t cop plenty of work. He just does a bit of swim­ming and his work on the course proper on Tues­day morn­ing was ver y good,” Ryan said.

“She’s (Dawn Wall) a good mare and she would be im­proved off her first-up run.”

Ryan will in­struct Ker­rin McEvoy to take a sit to­wards the back of the field and if all goes to plan he won’t have to weave his way up the rail like he did last star t.

“He was prob­a­bly rid­den a bit close due to the cir­cum­stances of the race and he didn’t have a lot room on the fence. I think he’s bet­ter horse rid­den qui­etly and then taken to the out­side,” Ryan said.

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