Gerry Ryan dares to dream of another Melbourne Cup victory

By Tanya Paolucci
Updated November 7 2012 - 6:14am, first published October 21 2011 - 11:49am
TRACKSIDE: Gerry Ryan was a guest at yesterday’s Gallic Club lunch at Bendgo Jockey Club.        Picture: JIM ALDERSEY
TRACKSIDE: Gerry Ryan was a guest at yesterday’s Gallic Club lunch at Bendgo Jockey Club. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

TWELVE months ago, Jayco founder and managing director Gerry Ryan achieved one of his lifelong dreams – to win a Melbourne Cup.One year on, Mr Ryan believes 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americian is on track to go back-to-back at one of the world’s most prestigious races.The French-trained seven-year-old will kick off his campaign with a run in today’s Drake International at Moonee Valley.Mr Ryan said today’s race will be a warm up for the main race.“He is going to have a hit- out at Moonee Valley, but his main aim is the Melbourne Cup,” he said.“But if it’s there for the winning I’m sure he will take it.”Unlike last year, Americain will enter this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup as a heavy favourite, but Mr Ryan does not believe it will affect his performance.“He doesn’t know that he’s the favourite,” he said.“This year is a new beginning.”Mr Ryan, who grew up in Bendigo, has more than interests in horse racing, with Jayco backing an international cycling team, the Dandenong Rangers in the WNBL and the Melbourne Storm in the NRL.Despite having diverse interests in sport, Mr Ryan said winning a Melbourne Cup was his ultimate sporting achievement.“You’ve got to say winning the Melbourne Cup (is the best),” he said. “It’s a great thrill to win the Melbourne Cup, it’s something that you dream of to have a run in, let alone a winner.“I’ve watched it too many times to remember, but the thrill is still there.”It was a successful year for the prominent businessman, who also had the opportunity to watch Cadel Evans win the Tour de France.“Cadel came through the Jayco VIS program and won his first race riding for the Limerick Arms Hotel team that I put together many years ago.”Jayco is also the major sponsor of Wednesday’s $200,000 Bendigo Cup.Mr Ryan said he was pleased to give back to the Bendigo community.“As a schoolboy I used to sneak out here, so I’ve been to a couple (of Bendigo Cups). It’s grown so much and to come back here and sponsor it has just been a pleasure to do it.”

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