Gerald Ryan has given stable apprentice Damien Thornton a vote of confidence, entrusting him with the Pago Pago Stakes mount on Time For War.
Saturday’s feature will be Thornton’s first experience of Group racing in Sydney, although he has ridden at that level in Victoria.
Time For War won his only start at Rosehill in November with Thornton aboard and Ryan had no hesitation sticking with the junior rider, especially after Time For War’s race day antics two weeks ago.
The two-year-old was a late scratching from the Skyline Stakes at Randwick after playing up in the starting stalls then breaking free from attendants and running a circuit of the track.
“Damien rides him every morning and he’s won on him,” Ryan said.
“He also rode him in a trial the other day and the horse behaved.
“I’m happy to leave him on. He rides work well, he’s a good kid and he gives everything a chance.”
Ryan said Time For War had never misbehaved at Rosehill and hoped a return to his home track would prove significant.
He has also made a raft of gear changes including the addition of a browband to stop the colt from rearing.
Time For War is being aimed at the Sires’ Produce Stakes and will be one of two Pago Pago runners for Ryan along with Black Opal Stakes placegetter Klammer.
The colt is Thornton’s only ride on the nine-race program.