Connections of Hot Snitzel have a decision to make after the colt returned with a fighting win in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
The question is whether to take on Sepoy in the $500,000 Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in two weeks or put him up against older horses with a light weight in the $300,000 Group Two Salinger Stakes (1200m) on the same program?
Hot Snitzel was sent out the $3.60 favourite in the Brian Crowley (1200m) in the colt’s first start since he finished second to Benfica in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1600m) in Brisbane in June.
The three-year-old went forward to sit outside the leader Ying La, and in a competitive field the Gerald Ryan-trained colt fended off all his rivals to defeat fast-finishing filly Combat Kitty ($10) by a half-head.
The Paul Messara-trained Mahisara ($16) turned in a pleasing first-up run to be 1-1/4-lengths away third while stakeswinner Uate was never in the hunt after getting back to last early and finished sixth.
Ryan said he had to sit down with the colt’s owners to decide Hot Snitzel’s spring path.
“He’ll go down to Melbourne. I’m a little bit keen on having a go at the Salinger with no weight on his back,” Ryan said.
“But something has got to run second to Sepoy.
“He could go down and take on the Salinger or he could go down and take on Sepoy. The other option would be to go to a Listed 1400 metre race and then go to the Sandown Guineas over 1600 metres.”
Hot Snitzel ran second over 1600m as a two-year-old but Ryan said he believed he was best kept to 1200 and 1400 metres.
The victory of Hot Snitzel was Ryan’s second success for the day after two-year-old Amorino made an impressive debut in the City Tattersalls Plate (1000m).
Ryan is adamant Hot Snitzel’s preparation in Queensland during the winter, which netted wins in the Group Two Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and Listed Ken Russell Memorial (1200m), has been the making of him.
“He’s come back well and I think he’s better in the brain now,” Ryan said.
“That was a tough win. He loves a fight, this horse.”
Jeff Penza said Combat Kitty appreciated being ridden quieter and found the line strongly, while Mahisara’s jockey Christian Reith was delighted.
“He (Mahisara) has come back super and is on target for the Sandown Guineas,” Reith said.