The bigger the barrier, the bigger the price, is the philosophy trainer Gerald Ryan is adopting with Snitzerland when she jumps from the outside gate in the TJ Smith Stakes.
There were 21 acceptors for Saturday’s $2.5 million sprint at Randwick with 18 to run.
Ryan’s initial reaction was unprintable but having got used to the idea, he still expects the mare to challenge the favourite Lankan Rupee.
Her nose second to him in the spring is the closest any horse has come to the Newmarket Handicap winner in his six starts since he was gelded.
“We had to give him 2-1/2 kilos and this time he gives us two so there’s a 4-1/2 kilo turnaround,” Ryan said.
“Snitzerland’s barrier is awful but she goes forward anyway.
“Buffering will go with her and Sweet Idea will go forward but the rest are not quick enough early.
“We can’t do anything about the barrier so we will deal with it.”
Lankan Rupee remains the $3.50 favourite and will jump from the opposite side of the barrier stalls to Snitzerland who has eased to $15.
But Ryan is under no illusions Lankan Rupee is the only horse for Lightning Stakes winner Snitzerland to beat.
Among many, he has a healthy respect for Irish visitor Gordon Lord Byron, winner of the Group One George Ryder Stakes at his first Australian start.
“The Irish horse is the best Group One horse in the field and there are a lot of them,” he said.
Among the other Group One winners is Queensland’s champion Buffering who has drawn gate two.
The Robert Heathcote-trained gelding finished seventh in the recent Challenge Stakes in which three-year-old filly Villa Verde overhauled Snitzerland to win.
Heathcote believed he may have been a bit soft on Buffering in the lead-up and gave him a solid work-out at Eagle Farm on Tuesday.
“The way he worked means I really think he is going to give Saturday’s race a real shake,” Heathcote said.
Buffering is the $6 second elect with Gordon Lord Byron an $8 chance.