While much of Gerald Ryan’s attention will be firmly focused on his star youngster Hot Snitzel in the TJ Smith on Saturday, the Rosehill-based trainer will also have one eye set on Snitzel’s stablemate Ironstein at Eagle Farm’s Stradbroke Handicap Day.
Well-tried two-year-old Hot Snitzel soared to the top of the odds for the $500,000 Group 1 TJ Smith (1600m) with an emphatic three length victory in the BRC Sires Produce Stakes last Saturday.
The win, Hot Snitzel’s first at Group level, and the failing of Peter Snowden’s former TJ Smith favourite Benfica has Ryan confident he can put an end to the Darley juggernaut in the year’s juvenile Group Ones this weekend.
Despite the hype of Hot Snitzel in thePatinack Farm TJ Smith, Ryan is also looking forward to watching the run of his Zabeel five-year-old Ironstein in another feature at the Stradbroke Handicap meet.
Winner of the Listed WJ McKell Cup (2400m) at Rosehill last start on May 21, exciting galloper Ironstein is set to run in the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
Ryan scratched Ironstein from last Saturday’s Winter Cup at Rosehill due to the unsuitably heavy track conditions at the Sydney course, but is happy with their progress heading into the Brisbane Cup test, which will be their first start in Queensland.
“The three weeks (between runs) is no problem, in fact it’s good for him,” Ryan said.
“He is much better on drier tracks and I wasn’t going to run him at Rosehill in the wet.”
Ironstein will be attempting to give Ryan his first Brisbane Cup victory after the horseman came close twice before with Sharscay running second to Yippyio in 2000, the race then a Group 1 feature run over the traditional Cup distance of two miles, and also having prepared 2009 runner-up Ready To Lift.
“I’ve come close to winning a Brisbane Cup and it looks like an ideal race for Ironstein,” Ryan said.
“He worked extremely well on Saturday morning and will travel north on Tuesday.”
Sydney hoop Tim Clark has been booked to ride Ironstein in the Brisbane Cup, Clark having partnered with the horse once before when finishing a game third to Voice Commander in the Listed Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) on May 6 this year.
Ironstein will face some stiff competition with Glass Harmonium and Shoot Out, who finished one two in the Eagle Farm Cup last Saturday, headlining the entries for the Brisbane Cup.
The talented Michael Moroney-trained import Glass Harmonium broke their maiden status in Australia in fine style with their brave lead-all-the-way Eagle Farm Cup success and will no doubt start the favourite for the Brisbane Cup if they are accepted.
“He hasn’t backed up before in England but we train them a bit differently and he certainly is doing very well in the warm weather here in Queensland,” Moroney said of the Verglas five-year-old.
Despite a strong showing from Gold Coast galloper Shoot Out in the Eagle Farm Cup, the High Chaparral four-year-old two lengths back from Glass Harmonium, trainer John Wallace is unlikely to back them up in the Brisbane Cup.
“I can’t say 100 per cent, but I would say it’s a good chance he won’t be running in the Brisbane Cup,” Wallace said.