Andrew Ryan sets two-pronged assault on Central Districts qualifier 

Anthony Cavallo will ride the Andrew Ryan-trained Possibly So at Mudgee on Sunday. Image: Racing Photography.

Andrew Ryan isn’t one to step into the spotlight, with the Bathurst trainer happy to let his horse’s results do the talking for his stable.

Still, with the Country Championships well underway, he’s thrilled to have two chances in Sunday’s $150,000 Central Districts qualifier at Mudgee, which are leading contender Possibly So (Anthony Cavallo, $6.50) and stablemate Laffing Waters (Ashleigh Stanley, $41).

“It is a thrill,” Ryan told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.   

“It is what everyone seems to be aiming for all year, and a lot of the time, it doesn’t work out, but to have two in it is excellent.

“The thing is, they are nice horses. The little mare (Laffing Waters) is a pleasure to do everything with; we love having her around.

“The big horse (Possibly So) is lovely but a bit naughty, and without Tony (Cavallo), we wouldn’t have been able to get him to the races.”

Ryan was leaning towards Possibly So being his stable’s best chance, but he doesn’t believe there is much between the pair.

“I’d probably have Possibly So on top only because the little mare will give her all, but this is her first time at 1400m,” he said.

“I expect her to run a good race, and she should get the distance while the big horse will run the trip, and if anything, it would have been lovely if it was a mile.”

Laffing Waters, a five-time winner, has drawn awkwardly (gate 14), but Ryan is confident Stanley will give the five-year-old every chance. 

“The closer you draw to the inside, normally the better you are, especially in good races like this,” Ryan said. 

“It’s not ideal drawing wide, but you play the cards you’re dealt, and she is a mare that always goes forward, and hopefully, she gets over towards the rail. 
“Ash suits the mare down to the ground, and if we could have a choice of putting any one on, Sydney riders included, we’d still put her on because she rides the mare well and does what she is told.” 

Possibly So, which starts from gate two with Cavallo in the saddle, is undoubtedly one of the more fancied runners in the qualifier, with the five-year-old a four-time winner, including a last-start victory in the 1600m Class Three Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick.

The only concern is his behaviour, with the Star Witness gelding a late scratching at Bathurst earlier this month, which resulted in Racing NSW stewards ordering Ryan to trial his galloper at Dubbo on Sunday.

“He is always a little bit fractious in the gates,” Ryan said. 

“At Bathurst, he reared and hit his head, and the vet deemed him not fit to race, and the stewards made me trial him at Dubbo.

“He wouldn’t fill you with enthusiasm if you watched any of his trials, but we’re really happy with the horse, and he’s worked as well as ever.”

On Sunday, Ryan won’t be the only Central Districts trainer chasing Country Championships glory. 

In the $150,000 event, the top two horses progress to the $1 million final at Royal Randwick on April 6. 

For more on the Mudgee qualifier, including our tips, click here

For more on the Country Championships, click here