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Stick leaves previous form behind to open account

Maestro Stick and Gavin Ryan Maestro Stick and Gavin Ryan
© Photo Healy Racing

The Keith Clarke-trained Maestro Stick powered clear in the closing stages to open his account in good fashion in the seven furlong handicap at Dundalk.

The Frankel gelding had attracted support from 12/1 into 9/2 before racing before eventually going to post an 8/1 shot.

Gavin Ryan produced his mount to challenge front-runner Mullacash Buzz over a furlong out and he asserted in the closing stages to post a two-and-a-half length win over the staying on Maccliff

The winner's previous closest finish had been when sixth in a claimer here in September. He was making his fourth start since joining Clarke.

Clarke said: "The last day he anticipated the gates and just missed the break by three or four lengths. It probably cost him at the end. I was very confident coming tonight as his work has been exceptional. We'll take them when they come.

"He's a Frankel out of a mile and a half Listed and Group mare. He was always going to stay. He will go on nice ground on the turf and I'm looking forward to it. He's one I have been looking forward to for a while.

"My girlfriend Sarah (Dixon) has been riding work on him. I was on my own and with her helping out now it has made a difference. I'd say he will only ever do enough and got the job done.

"He's everything you would want in a horse, he's built like a sprinter but he will stay. We'll step him up into a mile or even a mile-and-a-quarter.

"He's a fun horse bought for little money and we will enjoy him."

(Quotes by Michael Graham)

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About Gary Carson
Gary started out as a trainee/assistant journalist with the Sporting Life newspaper and has worked in the racing industry for over 25 years. He has been with the Press Association since 2013 and won the Irish Field Nap Table in 2016. He enjoys working with horses and trained his own horse, Mamaslittlestar, to win a point-to-point in 2019.