Danleigh (2010), Rangirangdoo (2011) and Metal Bender (2012) gave Sydney Trainer three consecutive wins in the George Ryder Stakes, a sequence that was broken last year by Pierro. Waller looks set to return to add another George Ryder to his collection this year though with three of his four runners entered for this year’s event, heading the early betting markets. Red Tracer ($3.70), Boban ($4.40) and Sacred Falls ($9.00) give Waller a strangle hold on this weekend’s Group 1 feature.
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1. BOBAN – G Schofield (9) 59kgs
Needed to stand up last start in the G1 Chipping Norton Stakes after two plain efforts resuming from a spell, and he did. Re-united for the first time this prep with regular rider Glyn Schofield, Boban enjoyed getting up to the 1600m and he finished too well for It’s A Dundeel, winning by a length. Hard to see him not going on with it now.
2. GORDON LORD BYRON – C Williams (5) 59kgs
Tom Hogan trains this European 6yo gelding who will be lining up for his first Australian start. Among his nine wins are a victory in a G3 race over a mile last August (carrying 61kgs) and a comfortable three lengths win in the G1 Betfred Stakes (1200m) at his following start. He has not raced since running two lengths fourth to Glorious Days in the G1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m) back in December. Reported to have been working well and has an impressive overall record. He creates plenty of interest.
3. MY KINGDOM OF FIFE – N Rawiller (14) 59kgs
He was always going to find it tough resuming from a two and a half year spell in the G1 Canterbury Classic over an unsuitable 1200m. The now 9yo ran last but performed as well as connections could have hoped for, finishing just over six lengths form Appearance and holding his position in the run home. Second up and 1500m are pluses but the second to widest gate is not and think he’ll need at least this run as well.
4. SACRED FALLS – Z Purton (2) 59kgs
Last year’s Doncaster winner resumed with a pleasing effort in the G1 Canterbury Classic a fortnight ago, running fourth (2.1 lengths) to Appearance. The 4yo was mid-field turning and made steady ground in the run home through the field. That run will have him well prepared for this event. He has contested the G1 Randwick Guineas and G1 George Main Stakes at his two most recent second up runs, both off good fresh efforts, and finished fifth and seventh respectively. What increases his chances of producing a better second up run this time is the likelihood of a wet track. He is three from three on Slow/Heavy and if these conditions prevail, has to come right into consideration.
5. TOYDINI – B Shinn (4) 59kgs
Guy Walter’s 4yo had to carry 60.5kgs and got a long way back in a race dominated by those up front when resuming form a spell in the G3 Southern Cross (1200m) but, was warming to his task late. He then lined up in last fortnight’s G1 Canterbury Classic where he finished fifth, 3 ½ lengths behind stable-mate Appearance. Worked home well under hands and heels only and should be ready to fire now third up over 1500m and did record a win over Speediness and Sacred Fall in the G2 Crystal Mile last spring.
6. SPEEDINESS – D Oliver (6) 59kgs
Honest customer who has had three starts back this preparation, the pick of them being his second up run where he finished 1 ½ lengths second behind Appearance in the G2 Apollo Stakes (1400m). His most recent start resulted in a seventh, again to Appearance, in the Canterbury Stakes. From a good draw he settled in the right spot and after a little bit of bumping on the turn, had plenty of time to produce a better finishing effort than he did. Drawn well again here, has Oliver up and will appreciate the 1500m and whilst last start wasn’t up to scratch, his previous record is very strong and it’ll be hard to dismiss him as a hope here.
7. FAT AL – C Newitt (15) 59kgs
Formerly with Gai Watehouse, the 5yo G1 winner returns to Sydney after having had four starts since October last year for new Trainer, Peter Moody. He returned form a break with an encouraging third to Mouro in the G3 Tab Rewards (1400m) where he finished well from the tail of the field and then delivered on that promise at his following and most recent start, claiming the Listed Golden Mile at Bendigo a fortnight back, defeating Bel Thor. Obviously has come back in good order for Moody but his is a step up again and one made even harder given he’ll be jumping from the outside gate.
8. LIDARI – C Schofield (10) 59kgs
The 5yo former European galloper only held his position at the tail of the field in the run home first up in the G1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) finishing seventh (4 ¾ lengths) behind Moment Of Change. At his next and most recent start, the G2 Blamey Stakes, he was ridden more aggressively, taking up the running in the 1600m event and dictated the tempo to his rival. He was strong late and defeated Foundry by a length. Stepping up to a WFA event sees him rise from 55kgs last start, to 59kgs but did run a very good third, beaten a neck, to Fiorente in the G2 Dato Tan last spring, so has the ability to be competitive.
9. TERRAVISTA – J Collett (12) 59kgs
A progressive from Joe Pride’s Warwick Farm stables, he has won six of his eight starts including the G3 Southern Cross and G3 Liverpool City Cup at his two most recent outings. The son of Captain Rio never wins by a big margins, but still manages to get the job done each time. He faces yet another step up in class, a considerable one too given it is run under WFA conditions and he’ll have to cross from twelve. Deserves a shot in a race like this but think he’ll find a couple too good at this level.
10. NINTH LEGION – J McDonald (7) 59kgs
Given a brief break after winning the G2 The Villiers (1550m) on the Kenso track last December and returned by running third (2 lengths) behind Terravista in the G3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m). He drew the second to widest gate last start and settled well back in a race where those up on the speed fought out the finish. He worked home very well given the nature of the race through the centre, will be better for the run and supports a very good second up record. He’ll settle closer to the speed here and comes from a stable (Team Hawkes) currently enjoying an amazing run of success.
11. TRES BLUE – T Berry (5) 58.5kgs
The 4yo came to Australia last year from France to contest the Melbourne Cup with an impressive record of four wins and three placings from ten starts, including the G2 Deauville (2500m). He finished a long way back in the Cup and was spelled. Gai Waterhouse has prepared the son of Anabaa Blue for his return to racing in this race, with two barrier trials but would think he’s best comes over a trip much longer than this.
12. RED TRACER – K McEvoy (13) 57kgs
Great mare who an impeccable record, lining up after running third to Appearance in the G1 Canterbury Stakes last start. She slipped at the start and struck interference soon after, meaning she settled much further back than anticipated and her finishing effort was good. That followed a soft victory in her third consecutive Millie Fox Stakes first up from a spell. She’s contested four open G1’s in the past for two placings and despite the wide draw, with the chances of the meeting being run on a wet track this weekend high, she’ll have to come into calculation.
13. STREAMA – K McEvoy (3) 57kgs
The winner of the G1 George Main Stakes last prep, she kicked off this campaign by running fifth of seven in the G2 Breeders Classic (1200m) behind Catkins and Step In Time, both of whom won at their next start. She had to carry 59kgs in the Breeders and wasn’t able to sprint with them under the weight and on the slow track. Her next and most recent start came a fortnight ago in the G1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m). She was caught wide midfield as the pack chased tear-away leader Rain Affair. That kind of run was going to make it hard for her in the straight and she only held her ground in finishing sixth (3.6 lengths) behind Appearance. Drawn much better here and third up at 1500m should suit. She’s a proven WFA performer and should not be forgotten.
14. EL ROCA – J Bowman (11) 56kgs
Defeated Dissident first up in the G2 Eskimo Prince before a race-day mishap saw the Fastnet Rock colt withdrawn from the Hobartville Stakes and line up against the older a horses a week later in the G3 Liverpool City Cup. He sat second in the run and was game fighting out the finish to run second, against the well performed Terravista. His following start came a fortnight ago in the G1 Randwick Guineas where he and Dissident met again, producing a great finishing together over the final furlong, with Dissident prevailing by a nose. He has been good in each Australian start and has all the right attributes to being winning an open WFA race such as this.
15. EURZONE – J Cassidy (1) 56kgs
The Bart and James Cummings trained 3yo commenced this campaign three starts back and going within a lip of winning the G1 Futurity Stakes (1400m). He then stepped up to the mile of the Australian Guineas and had a good run in transit before running fourth (1.7 lengths) Shamus Award. The son of Northern Meteor than line up in the Randwick Guineas where again he had a lovely run throughout for a good draw, but wasn’t able to reel in Dissident or El Roca in the straight, running third just over a length away. Drawn very well again and three from three on Slow ground. Would not think his price should be too much greater than El Roca’s.
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With the high possibility of this race being run on a wet track, Red Tracer and Sacred Falls, both very good last start in the Canterbury Classic, come right into contention. Red Tracer hasn’t taken on Open G1 company too many times and from thirteen over what should be a solidly run 1500m, don’t know if it is worth rushing into the early price. Sacred Falls was good first up, loves a wet track and should be able sneak runs home from an inside gate, he creates a lot of appeal at $9.00. Wouldn’t overlook Walter’s pair at value. Not much as gone right for Streama in two runs back and she’ll get a lovely run from gate two whilst Toydini’s run last start would top him off nicely for this, although, the drier the track the better.
- SACRED FALLS
- RED TRACER