Impressive Persian Force’s Brocklesby Conditions Stakes victory the highlight of rider Rossa Ryan’s Doncaster treble

Rossa Ryan put down a marker for the 2022 Flat season with an opening day treble at Doncaster headlined by Royal Ascot prospect Persian Force.

By Tom Richmond
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 6:00 am

Ryan rode 120 winners in 2021 in a breakthrough campaign that included a high-profile Grade Two success at the Curragh in his native Ireland on Go Bears Go.

Now Persian Force appears to have the scope to take the ambitious jockey’s career to the next level after scooting away with the SBK Brocklesby Conditions Stakes.

The Mehmas colt cost 225,000 euros as a yearling and looks as though he could take high rank in the two-year-old division judged on his performance in the first race of the Flat turf season.

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Persian Force ridden by Rossa Ryan wins the SBK Brocklesby Conditions Stakes at Doncaster Racecourse. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The even-money favourite travelled well throughout for Ryan before setting sail for home – quickly putting the race to bed as he pulled four and three-quarter lengths clear of Primrose Ridge.

Last year’s winner Chipotle went on to score at Royal Ascot and it would be no surprise if the Richard Hannon-trained Persian Force turned up at the showpiece meeting in June.

Ryan said: “We’ve liked him at home.

“He’s not done a lot, but what he has done he’s done it well and very professionally. Today was the same and he’s going to improve.

Johan ridden by Silvestre De Sousa wins the SBK Lincoln (Heritage Handicap) at Doncaster Racecourse. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

“I hope we’ve only scraped the surface of what’s underneath the bonnet. He had a look at the crowd and went and did his job.

“They went a good gallop and I was always cantering all over them. He’s got bundles of speed and I think when he goes up to six furlongs, he’ll be much better equipped. He’s going to be nice.”

Ryan completed a double on Arthur’s Realm for trainer Ed Dunlop in the SBK Spring Mile Handicap.

The Galway-born rider delivered the four-year-old with a strong late run to beat A Boy Named Ivy by a length and three-quarters before taking the SBK Doncaster Mile Stakes on the Hannon-trained Chindit.

Prophetically, this was an afternoon marred by the fatal injury suffered by 2016 Brocklesby winner The Last Lion at Kempton – the Mark and Charlie Johnston-trained horse was responsible for veteran jockey Joe Fanning’s first Group One win.

Meanwhile, former champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa’s decision to go freelance paid off when Johan made a successful debut for the Mick Channon team with an impressive display in the SBK Lincoln on Town Moor.

A six-time winner for William Haggas, the five-year-old switched yards during the off-season and was an impressive winner for De Sousa who was previously retained by King Power Racing.

De Sousa said: “He travelled brilliant. I tracked the lead horse and put the race to bed when I asked him to go.

“I’m excited, absolutely delighted. I’m a freelance this year, just kicking off. This win is always a big help and I just hope all the trainers can look at that and give me support.

“The owners have been brilliant to me and so has Mick Channon. He has always given me plenty of rides. I’m over the moon.”

The Brazilian-born rider was not the only former champion jockey enjoying big race success – Country Grammer provided Frankie Dettori, 51, with a fourth success in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan.

The Dettori-ridden Lord North and Japanese runner Panthalassa had earlier dead-heated in the Dubai Turf.

Joking that he cannot get a ride in the Randox Grand National on Saturday week, Dettori says he will keep his rides to a minimum before Newmarket’s Craven meeting in mid-April and the first Classic trials.