Giant Ryan won six straight races last year, including the Vosburgh Invitational (G1), before finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) to conclude his year.
Owned by Shivananda Parbhoo, Giant Ryan is slated to make his first start of the year on Saturday in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan on the Dubai World Cup program.
Trained by the owner’s father, Bisnath Parboo, both trainer and owner, father and son, are quick to dismiss their charge’s effort in the Breeders’ Cup.
“I really expected him to run a lot better than that,” Shivananda Parbhoo said in a Dubai Racing Club release on Wednesday. “After the race, we had him scoped and we saw that he had a respiratory infection. He wasn’t showing any signs of distress before the race. He didn’t stop eating, but he clearly had already had the infection.”
The elder Parboo concurred and said, “I expect him to run 110% better here. When he’s 100%, he knows how to do just one thing – win. When he gets into that starting stall, he knows what he has to do.”
As for the different spelling of the surname by father and son, Bisnath Parboo explains that when renewing a visa “many years ago,” the ‘h’ was left off. The rest of the family uses the preferred spelling of the name – Parbhoo.
During Giant Ryan’s six-race winning streak, the now six-year-old horse won races over four different tracks – the inner dirt track at Aqueduct, the main dirt track at Aqueduct, a sloppy main track at Belmont Park and the dirt oval at his home base of Calder Racecourse.
Willie Martinez, who last rode Giant Ryan when winning a stakes race at Calder last June, will have the mount Saturday.
Giant Ryan has provided quite a ride for both owner and trainer.
“This is a dream come true,” said owner Shivananda Parbhoo. “It’s unbelievable.”
Giant Ryan/Watkins photo courtesy of Dubai Racing Club