John Ryan has been in the shadow of his famous father Mick since taking over the licence in 2005 but the 20-1 success of Ocean Tempest in the William Hill Lincoln on the opening day of the Flat at Doncaster helped put his own name up in lights.
Ryan snr’s biggest wins came courtesy of Katies, who won an Irish 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes, but he was renowned for landing the odd gamble.
John Ryan has had several decent horses in his care, the best of those being Silver Grecian and Iver Bridge Lad, but winning the feature handicap on a Saturday will expose him to far more publicity.
Fifth in the consolation Lincoln 12 months ago, Ryan took his five-year-old out to Dubai and he ran several respectable races without looking like a Lincoln winner-in-waiting.
The 7-1 joint-favourite Tullius looked a huge threat a furlong out but Ocean Tempest eventually ran out a comprehensive length-and-three-quarters winner.
David O’Meara saddled third and fourth with Robert The Painter and Sweet Lightning.
Ryan said of the Adam Kirby-ridden winner: “We ran him in the consolation race last year but he wasn’t ready.
“This was always his aim. He paid his way in Dubai but we thought he was a bit high in the weights for this but we knew this ground was his thing.
“I couldn’t believe how good it was when I walked it.
“We backed him (available at 33-1 shortly before the off). I was confident because I thought he was relatively fresh.”