TRIPLE millionaire Phelan Ready is ready to return to the winners circle for the first time since he won the 2009 Golden Slipper when he contests tomorrow’s Glasshouse Quality (1400m) at the Sunshine Coast.
The son of More Than Ready returned to racing with an outstanding one-length second in the Group 2 BRC Eagle Farm Cup (1300m) last month behind Victorian filly, Varenna Miss.
Phelan Ready’s trainer Jason McLachlan gave an exclusive interview with the Daily Telegraph’s Racing Editor Ray Thomas and began by defending his horses’ record.
”He’s won nearly $3.5 million and people bag the horse,” an incredulous McLachlan said. ”I don’t mind people bagging him because a lot of blokes haven’t got a horse stable that has won that sort of prizemoney.”
McLachlan is also adamant Phelan Ready is far from a spent force, citing the gelding’s comeback effort when a fast finishing second in the QTC Cup as evidence he is close to top form again. ”It was a super run,” McLachlan said “He was three and four deep the whole race but another couple of strides and he wins.
”He had always raced first-up over 1000m so, now he is an older horse, I thought I’d run him first-up over a bit further. I trialled him leading up to that race and he went brilliantly, so I was confident he would run well.”
McLachlan believes circumstance rather than a lack of ability has prevented Phelan Ready from winning another race since the Golden Slipper.
”He probably should have won the Manikato Stakes a couple of years ago but was beaten a head,” the trainer added. The horse also got held up at the Gold Coast in the Goldmarket when he ran third and Michael Cahill said he should have won.
Then last start, in the Group 2 race, he had no luck. He’s not far away.”
McLachlan revealed he has specifically set Phelan Ready for the Glasshouse and has even enticed Slipper-winning jockey Brad Rawiller to travel to Caloundra’s Sunshine Coast to be reunited with the gelding for the first time in 18 months.
”I’ve just kept the horse ticking over since his first-up run,” the trainer continued. ”I’ve given him an easy jumpout since.”