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Gr1 Sprinter Enjoying Change Of Scenery
Ryan Mark (Thorn Park-Annalee, by Kingdom Bay) is taking in a week at Raglan to ready him for the defence of his Gr1 Railway Stakes title on New Year's Day, reports NZ Racing Desk. Hard tracks have taken their toll on the smart Kiwi sprinter, but trainer John Morell is still hopeful of having the 6YO ready for the Ellerslie feature. "At this stage, we're still heading toward the Railway," Morell said. Morell has regularly sent Ryan Mark to his friend Pim Blair to work the son of Thorn Park at the beach. "He loves it over there. It's doing him the world of good and I'll have him back on Sunday," he said. "He's looking bright enough and we'll see how he is when he's put under a bit of pressure." Ryan Mark finished runner-up in the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint at Te Rapa in early November, but tailed the field home earlier this month in the Gr3 Concorde Handicap at Ellerslie. "He was a bit sore afterwards," Morell said. "I've had a lot of trouble with his feet and I thought it was that, but the vet said it was his knee." He added: "At first, I wasn't that disappointed with his run as he badly needed it and he was only a bit over three lengths from the winner."