Grafton Country Championship - 20th March 2015

Ryan’s Redwolf proves too tough in Grafton qualifier
Even Alan Ryan wasn’t sure if his horse, Redwolf, was going to qualify for The Championships Country Series Final when his outsider led the field into the straight at Grafton’s qualifying race last Friday, March 20.
The $21 chance looked like he was going to get swamped by a number of runners but held on to beat Voltaire Lumiere by half a length in the $100,000 event.
“When you see all those other horses coming at him in the straight you just think ‘can he, can he hang on’ and he dug deep,” Ryan said. “We’re just happy to be there. It was a good run but he’ll have to beat better horses in the final.”
Jockey Matthew McGuren had to focus on riding his own race and said Redwolf would have struggled to win if he wasn’t allowed to race in his comfort zone.

"It’s a credit to Al and the team,” McGuren said. "He had that one outside him pestering him, I couldn’t anchor up and let him go but I didn’t want the horse to go any quicker either.

"He was in a pattern and I was happy with him but he was that little bit strong. He saw it out and saw it out from start to finish.”

Jockey Cassie Schmidt said runner-up Voltaire Lumiere was only beaten by the wide barrier after coming out of gate 11 and having to settle back in the field.
“He was very unlucky in the run. If I would have drawn a better gate there is no way he would have got beaten,” Schmidt said.

“He’s an up-and-coming horse that keeps improving as you can see through his form from the start before where he broke the track record at Ipswich which stood for 20 years, so he’s a promising horse.”