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South Australian sprinter Gytrash will head back to Melbourne to chase another Group One at Moonee Valley

South Australian sprinter Gytrash will head back to Melbourne to chase another Group One victory when he races at The Valley for the first time in the William Reid Stakes.

Trained by Gordon Richards, Gytrash won the Group One Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington last month before finishing third to three-year-olds Bivouac and Loving Gaby under top weight in the Group One Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at the same track.

The four-year-old is set to clash with the pair again in Friday night’s 1200m weight-for-age William Reid Stakes, with five other individual Group One winners among the 18 nominations.

Gytrash returned home to Adelaide after the Newmarket and is scheduled to gallop at Morphettville on Tuesday before travelling to Melbourne on Thursday night.

Richards believes the early pace and the way Gytrash handles The Valley will be crucial to his chances.

“They didn’t go hard early in the Newmarket and I thought it was a bit like a sit and sprint,” Richards said.

“He went OK and beat a lot of them home but I just thought you didn’t get to see his best. I think he needs a bit of pace on up front.

“I’m not sure whether The Valley will be the right place for him but that’s where the race is so we’ll have to go there.

“He’ll turn up on Friday night and if he likes the track he’ll go well and if he doesn’t like The Valley he probably won’t go well.”

Richards is optimistic the sprinter, who will be ridden by Lightning-winning jockey Mark Zahra, will like The Valley circuit.

“If he drew barrier one that would probably be the worst barrier for him but if he can be one off the fence or two off with cover and get time to wind up I reckon he’ll go well.”

Zahra missed the Newmarket because he was riding in Sydney.

While Bivouac and Loving Gaby finished ahead of Gytrash in the Newmarket, Richards believes he can mix it with them in the weight-for-age sprint but said there were also a number of other quality entrants.

“It’s a pretty strong race,” he said.

Nature Strip has been nominated by Chris Waller while the other Group One winners entered are Exceedance, Mystic Journey, Pippie and Scales Of Justice.

 
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