Four years after capturing the Hawkesbury Guineas with Spill The Beans, Gerald Ryan is looking to Bandersnatch to deliver him another.
The three-year-old resumes in Saturday’s Group Three feature, run this year on his home track of Rosehill because of protocols surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Ryan has earmarked both the Hawkesbury and Inglis Guineas at Scone as target races for Bandersnatch, who put the writing on the wall in the summer winning three of his four starts.
“This is a race that, when he was going well back in November, early December, we decided then we were only going to give him four runs and then set him for this race and the Inglis race at Scone,” Ryan said.
“He’s come up good and his two trials have been nice. He’s got some improvement in him but he is as fit as he can be first up without having a race.”
The Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) changed complexion on Friday with the scratching of fancied runner Indy Car, who has been sold to Hong Kong.
In his absence, Icebath is $5 favourite in a market which has 10 of the 14 runners at $14 and under.
Bandersnatch shares the third line of betting at $7.50 and Ryan is looking forward to seeing how he measures up.
“Saturday will tell us that but I’m going into the race thinking if he’s not up there with them, he’s not very far behind them,” Ryan said.
Ryan has also predicted an improved showing from Donandkim in the Tobruk Handicap (1500m).
Group-placed in the Spring Stakes at Newcastle, Donandkim will strip fitter for two recent runs, the latest when fifth to Indy Car during the Sydney autumn carnival.
“He is just getting fit now,” Ryan said.
“He is a gross horse who cops a bit of work and he has improved and come on and his work since his last-start fifth has been heaps better.”