While the push is always on to get two-year-olds into the Golden Slipper, trainer Gerald Ryan has had one race in mind all season – the Sires’ Produce Stakes.
Ryan has trained nine individual winners of 13 juvenile races so far and only one was given the tick to go to the Slipper.
Believe Yourself earned her place with victory in the Sweet Embrace Stakes and was an admirable fourth in the Slipper after getting a long way back early in the race.
Ryan’s resolve to target Saturday’s $1 million Sires’ Produce (1400m) has been rewarded with the stable sending out four runners – Believe Yourself, Peggy Jean, Lucky Raquie and Time For War – who are the first four in the market.
“Believe Yourself is only a little filly but she has a heart as big as herself which we have seen,” Ryan said.
“Peggy Jean Ryan has been aimed at this race and the 1400 metres really suits.
“It’s hard to split the four of them. Lucky Raquie has had one start on a wet track and it wasn’t her best while I would also prefer Time For War on better ground.”
Peggy Jean displaced Believe Yourself as the TAB’s favourite on Friday after being backed into $3.50 with her stablemate at $4.20.
Time For War and Lucky Raquie were at $8.
Brenton Avdulla sticks with Believe Yourself, impressed with her Golden Slipper run.
“She drew very awkwardly in the Slipper so we had to go back and ride her to find the line,” Avdulla said.
“She was on the back of the winner (Mossfun). The winner sprinted probably a touch better than her on the corner but her best work was her last 200 which suggests the 1400 is what she’d be looking for.
Stable apprentice Damien Thornton has his first Group One ride on Time For War.
“He can be a bit difficult but Damien gets on well with him,” Ryan said.
Thornton has been aboard Time For War at both his starts for two wins but his Pago Pago Stakes victory was not without incident when he drifted out in the run to the line.
Nash Rawiller rides Peggy Jean while Glyn Schofield will be reunited with Black Opal Stakes winner Lucky Raquie.