Avenue all the way at Sandown

Popular owner Gerry Ryan is still on Cloud 9 after the Melbourne Cup and he floated back into the Sandown enclosure following Avenue’s victory in the Listed Kevin Heffernan Stakes yesterday.

Ryan paid a reported $400,000 for French stayer Americain but Avenue is a homebred for the Jayco Caravans man.  The grey mare was born at Ryan’s Limerick Lane nursery which is situated between Seymour and Nagambie.

Avenue (4m Anabaa – Virage by Kenmare) has won 7 races in 15 starts and that includes Group 3 victories at Moonee Valley (2) and Caulfield.

“It might not have been a classic weight-for-age field but she did carry 57kg,” trainer Peter Moody explained.  “She made them chase a long way out and she can beat better horses doing that.”

Moody said Avenue will be set for the G1 Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville in March.  She finished well back in the Adelaide feature this year behind Rostova.

Avenue is by deceased Widden shuttler Anabaa whose main claim to fame is Breeders’ Cup champion Goldikova.  He is also the sire of Moody’s G1 Caulfield Guineas winner Anacheeva.

Ryan bought Avenue’s dam Virage for $200,000 at the 2003 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale.  Her value skyrocketed two years later when her first Anabaa filly Virage De Fortune came out and won the G1 QTC Sires’ Produce Stakes and G1 MVRC Australia Stakes.

Ryan sent Virage back to Widden Stud in 2005 and Avenue was the result.  The mare’s latest is a Redoute’s Choice colt foaled on October 9.