Queensland's Own Welcome to the best coverage of racing in Queensland Queensland's Best
Horse Racing Only
www.horseracingonly.com.au Horse Racing Only logo
Home Racing Queensland National International Blogs Photo Gallery Links Contact Us


By Ryan Maloney with Graham Potter | Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Of everybody involved in the Magic Millions race-day at the Gold Coast last Saturday, jockey Ryan Maloney had the biggest weight of expectations on his shoulders. Maloney was aboard the day’s biggest single drawcard, Alligator Blood. The unforeseen pre-race obstacles that the Alligator Blood team had to overcome on the day have been well documented. Those moments of concern, the way the race played out, the stirring performance of a rising star, the exhilaration of victory and a very special family celebration were all topics of conversation when HRO’s Graham Potter spoke to Ryan Maloney when the dust finally settled on the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.

I was actually having a pretty average day in the early part of the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast on Saturday. I didn’t give my first one the best rude and then the next two I just couldn’t get out on. I didn’t have any luck on them whatsoever … and then a few of the jockeys said, ahh your horse in the big race might end up being scratched.

I thought they were taking the mickey out of me. Then a few other people said it and I saw the pictures of the highway on sky from the chopper and I thought, this is unbelievable.

Then, when they put the races back, I thought, well I can’t do anything about it so I’m going to have a quick sleep and reassess thing after that and hope it all pans out.

I’m generally pretty good at taking things in my stride. Even the night before a big race like the Magic Millions, you know, I’ve gone through all of the races form-wise and was quite relaxed and not letting any pressure get to me.

If anything, I was more excited than anything else. Obviously, it was a good opportunity to be riding a horse like Alligator Blood, and I think you just have to take things as they come.

I don’t think I’m better than anyone but I do have confidence that I can get the job done with the right horse. Sometimes you just have got to have a bit of faith in yourself and not overthink it.


When I walked out into the parade ring for the big race, I obviously wasn’t sure what I was going to find.

Thankfully it wasn’t a really stinking hot day but, given what had gone on before, David (Vandyke) was understandably a bit concerned.

When I hopped on Alligator Blood … he usually gets on his toes a little bit. Nothing serious, but he just shows you that he is ready to go … and he never did that!

Again, on the way to the gates he can grab the bridle but this time he just didn’t touch it at all but, as soon as we got around to the gates, he started to spark up and I knew he was right then.

In fact, with those further delays at the barriers, he was starting to get a bit worked up.

I thought there was no point in staying on his back … he was just going to get worse, so I hopped off his back and he calmed down again straight away.


It didn’t really matter to me where we were positioned in the run because Alligator Blood s such a versatile horse.

One thing you have got to do with any horse is you have got to have them in their comfort zone. If they are happy and travelling, if they are any good, they are going to finish the race off.

It was quite a solid run race. My main thought was to keep him out of trouble. I was very happy where I was … especially when I got onto the back of Eleven Eleven. I knew then he would take me into the race.

I was always going better than Eleven Eleven, even when we joined issue and he gave some cheek.

Keagan Latham was on Eleven Eleven. He said to me every-time he thinks he is in with a sniff he sees these green colours come and ruin the party.

Apart from the obvious, it was a particularly great day for me because my family was at the track and able to celebrate with me in the moment after I had got off Alligator Blood.

They have only been to the races a couple of time. They are not that keen. They think it can be pretty boring but, to have them there on a big day like that was really special for all of us.

I’m sure they’ll cherish it because I did … that’s for sure.


The difference between Alligator Blood now and when I first got on him?

I think he is really starting to realise how good he is, whereas when I first got on him, he was just a bit a lad and wasn’t taking it that seriously.

With my first win on him … I looked at him in the yard and thought he is probably going to need the run, but it was like trackwork for him when he won. I couldn’t believe it.

Now he knows he is a winner and that has made a big difference.

His whole temperament has changed … and full credit to the Vandyke stable for that.

Alligator Blood knows what he has got to do now and he is very good at doing it.

More articles

Photos: HRO (Darren Winningham)
Photos: HRO (Darren Winningham)
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best