There is a sense of inevitability about most of Kembla’s premiership results heading into final day of the season on Saturday, but young gun Brock Ryan remains hopeful in his apprentices title pursuit.
While the trainers and jockeys titles are now a mere formality, Ryan still has an outside chance to defend his apprentices crown. The Kembla based talent currently trails Rachel King (56 points) by seven points at the top of the standings.
But with King set to ride in Sydney this weekend, it opens the door for Ryan to run down the long-time leader on the final day.
“I will need a bit of luck and to ride them well but we will just have to wait and see,” Ryan, who has five rides on Saturday, said.
“If I didn’t have the fall [earlier this year at Wellington] that set me back a fair bit, I would be right in it, but if I can get a double at least I will give myself a chance.”
Ryan will need at least two wins and some placings to upset King.
He starts his day riding a couple of outsiders for Kembla trainer’s Robert and Luke Price, with Robbery (race three) and Curata Princess (race four).
The promising young gun then pilots Virgilio for Kerry Parker in the Bankstown Sports Club Class 1 Handicap (1200m).
Virgilio contested the Provincial Championships final last preparation before returning with a determined runner-up finish first-up at Kembla.
The three-year-old is a $4.60 second favourite with the TAB, but Ryan will have to navigate from a tricky barrier 10.
“He’s definitely a chance but it’s an awkward draw,” Ryan said.
“With some luck from the barrier, he is definitely a big change.
“He was a bit luckless last start too and still ran well to finish second.”
Ryan, who won last year’s apprentice title in his maiden season in the saddle, also links up with Noel Mayfield-Smith trained Romney’s Choice in the Club Central Benchmark 70 Handicap (1300m).
“I am really keen on her,” Ryan said.
“I thought she was travelling really well the other day when she fell at Warwick Farm and then last time out she finished off well in a pretty hot race.
“She missed some work when she fell, but recovered now and come on well from that last run so she should be right in the finish.”
There’s a chance Ryan’s premiership fortunes could come down to his final ride on Storm On for Theresa Bateup in the Club Rivers Benchmark 64 Handicap (2000m).
Meanwhile, Ryan’s boss Gwenda Markwell will wrap up her 15th straight Kembla trainers title this weekend.
Markwell is six wins clear of her nearest rival. She trails Chris Waller by 13 points in the overall trainers premiership and will need a final day miracle to run him down.
Jeff Penza has sewn up the jockeys crown.