Our Sporting Life SA

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Ryan on the Rise


Ryan Balfour is one of South Australia’s up and coming stars in thoroughbred training. Training on his own for the first time in the 2014-2015 racing season, Ryan already has nine city winners and was the first to land the Thoroughbred Racing South Australia $10,000 bonus for any trainer able to win a race on four successive city meetings. On Saturday, March 14 at Morphettville Parks, Ryan trained the first three horses past the post in the Stamford Hotels and Resorts Handicap. On January 31, he captured Australia-wide attention when River’s Lane won at Flemington, the sacred home of Australian racing at the odds of 80/1. Ryan was bred to be a trainer. He is the son of former top jockey and then Group One winning trainer David Balfour who unfortunately passed away last year. “It was one of the highlights of my career to be able train in partnership with Dad and train a Listed race winner with him,” Ryan said. “We trained 25 winners during last season but importantly, set up a base for me to go out of my own this season. “His passing and going out on my own has made me so determined to succeed. “I am lucky to have been stable foreman for Dad while he was training in Singapore and Malaysia and again back in Adelaide, so his methods gave me an excellent foundation to start my own career. “One of the things I have done is move the horses from his Camden Park stables to the boxes Mark Kavanagh built on Morphett Road, and I think the horses are much happier not having to be floated across Anzac Highway most days.” A sign of support for Ryan is that all of his father’s clients have continued to keep their horses with the young trainer. “I am also lucky that one of South Australia’s top thoroughbred breeders Kerry O’Brien has supported my stable.” O’Brien is a former high class athlete who competed at two Commonwealth Games and one Olympic Games. He was the world record holder of the men’s 3000 metres steeplechase for two years. In retirement he has successfully run a thoroughbred breeding establishment and was the owner-breeder of Augusta Proud who won her first six starts including the Adelaide and Queensland Magic Millions Classics. Ryan said his plan was to always have about 35 horses in work and to ensure he had a supply he purchased 11 yearlings at recent Magic Millions sales in Queensland and Adelaide. “Most of them still have shares available so it could be a good chance for people to become involved in horse racing. “I also plan to look at horses in a few more sales over the next month.” Ryan said the plan was to continually raise the quality of horses he had in training. “I think Light It Up and Fine Approach have plenty of potential to win good races and it was great to win with River’s Lane at Flemington at the end of January. “Even though he started at 80/1 I really believed he had a good chance – I wouldn’t have bothered taking him if I didn’t think he had a hope. Even though he is an eight-year-old, he was showing on the track that he was ready to win so we took the chance to go to Melbourne and he justified my faith.” Ryan knows the sign of a successful trainer is the ability to place the horses to maximise their potential. His record proves has what it takes.

For any enquiries about Ryan Balfour Racing please check out- www.balfourracing.com.au