Deploy sets another track record winning the Gr.2 Theo Marks Stakes (Lisa Grimm)
It was not as if Deploy hadn’t already established his bona fides. The 5YO’s victory in June’s Group Two Moreton Cup pretty much accomplished that, but to coin a phrase, the Gerald Ryan trained flyer has grown another leg this time in.
Resuming in the Group Three Show County over 1200m at Royal Randwick on 19 August, Deploy broke the track record, setting a new benchmark at 1:08.06, while three weeks later, a further record has fallen with Deploy’s Group Two Theo Marks – a 1:14.92 cakewalk over 1300m on Saturday – eclipsing the time set by Alquoz way back in 1990 … almost 27 years to the day.
Brett Cornish, whose Torryburn Stud bred, sold and (wisely) kept a share in Deploy, was over the moon with the sprinter’s rise and rise and he celebrated in kind.
“We were talking about it on Saturday night and thought that Northern Meteor had broken records at successive starts, around 10 years ago, at Canterbury (winning a 1250m maiden in 1:12.47) and Randwick (Listed Brian Crowley over 1200m in 1:08.32), and we’re pretty happy for Deploy to emulate him,” Cornish enthused.
“Deploy has been a good horse all along (eight wins and six placings from 16 starts for $597,985 in stakes) but just keeps stepping up.
“I reckon he still hasn’t found his level and will continue improving and hopefully develop into a real weight for age horse.”
Moments after Deploy crossed the line in the Theo Marks, trainer Gerald Ryan was swamped by media, enquiring as to what races the Fastnet Rock gelding would tackle in the spring.
“We’ll be leaving it up to Gerald … he’s done a brilliant job placing the horse throughout his career, but the inclination at this stage would be the (Group One) Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield (1 October),” Cornish explains. “Deploy usually likes about three weeks between runs so that should suit him perfectly.
“There are some feelers out as well for the ($10 million) The Everest (14 October) and it’s always a possibility. He’s certainly progressing well and can handle wet or dry tracks.”
Torryburn Stud prepared Deploy for the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale where the then colt was sold to Segenhoe Stud for $450,000, but the Cornish family “kept a leg” and race him with Segenhoe, Stallion Racing and Mcennis Racing.
Deploy also races in Torryburn’s increasingly familiar white and red heart silks, as will the unraced 3YO half brother, Wokurna and 2YO Sebring half brother, Guards Red.
(Clearly with a penchant for ‘speedy’ names, Cornish mentions that Sebring is named after an international raceway near Florida in the United States, while Guards Red is a Porsche colour … and everyone knows red ones go faster!).
“Deploy’s dam, Crimson Reign, has a Smart Missile colt – a three quarter to Deploy – going to Easter next year, while she’s in foal to Pride of Dubai and is booked back into Fastnet Rock,” Cornish adds.
With a host of topline performers since the Cornish’s purchased the Hunter Valley nursery in 2002, Torryburn has enjoyed a memorable 12 months with gallopers it has bred and/or sold and while Deploy isn’t at the top of the pile, yet, he’s “heading in the right direction”.
“The farm has had a very good run of late with Deploy, Terravista (a dual Group One winner), Jessy Belle (2016 Group Two Matriarch Stakes), Dixie Blossoms (multiple Group winner) and Diddums (2017 Group Three PJ Bell Handicap),” Cornish points out. “Diddums is back in work and we’re fairly excited about that too because when she won the PJ Bell, she did it in quicker time than Chautauqua when he won the (Group One) TJ Smith later in the day.
“Torryburn also bred, Hot King Prawn, who is unbeaten in two starts in Hong Kong – winning his most recent start by over five lengths, and just to top it all off, we bred and sold the I Am Invincible colt (from Lustful) that clocked 10.07 seconds for his 200m gallop at Canterbury last week, the fastest breeze up time in the history of the Inglis Ready2Race sale.”
Naturally, the Saturday stakes victories by Fastnet Rock sprinters, Deploy and Shoals (Atlantic Jewel Stakes), caught the attention of Coolmore Australia, which stands the Champion Sire at its Hunter Valley nursery: “Gerald Ryan said he thought Deploy was a top class prospect as a 2YO and to be fair to Gerald, it’s probably taken the horse a little longer than expected to mature into the finished article,” Coolmore Australia’s Sales & Nominations Manager, Colm Santry points out. “However, Deploy is clearly right on top of his game at the moment and to break track records in high pressure races on consecutive outings is pretty special.
“It’s not hard to imagine him winning a Group One at some point over the remainder of the season if he continues to do what he did on Saturday. It’s a great result for the syndicate that owns him, in particular John Cornish and Kevin Maloney, both of whom have been strong supporters of Fastnet Rock for many years.
“Fastnet Rock has had an electric start to the season and fingers crossed he looks to have a big spring ahead of him with not only Deploy, but the likes of Merchant Navy, Formality, Shoals, Catchy and many more.”