After rewarding the patience of their trainer Gerald Ryan with a win in the Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast on Saturday, improved Snitzel filly Schiffer could be tested at elite level this autumn in the Oakleigh Plate 2012.
Second to Karuta Queen in the Wyong Magic Millions Classic on debut back in December 2010, Schiffer went on to win her next start at Randwick on Boxing Day before finishing a close third again to Neville Layt’s glamour filly Karuta Queen in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) last January.
After a disappointing winter – spring season where Schiffer started three times in Sydney but failed to finish better than sixth, Ryan bought her back to Queensland for the 2012 Magic Millions Race Day on the weekend.
Racing first-up after a four month break Schiffer once again displayed her potential to develop into a Group winning horse when she scored an upset win in the $200,000 Magic Millions Sprint (1000m).
Wearing blinkers and a tongue tie for the first time to help sharpen her up, Schiffer ($14) was able to lead-all-the-way and defeat the $2.90 favourite Seek And Find to win the MM Sprint by a neck, Nuptse finishing off the winning trifecta a further one and three quarter lengths away third.
Ryan was over the moon with the return to form of Schiffer, a $240,000 purchase at the 2010 Magic Millions Yearling Sales, saying he had never really figured out what went wrong with her last preparation.
“We gave her a long spell but she didn’t’ really improve physically during the break,” he said.
“She did show plenty in a barrier trial and I thought she was set for a big spring but her form in three races was hopeless.
“I don’t know whether it was the wet tracks or training her for longer races, but she just gave us nothing.”
Over her latest spell, however, Schiffer finally bulked up and showed her power with her Magic Millions Sprint win.
“She has bulked up and looks totally different,” Ryan said.
“This time in we gave her seven weeks off and she put on 50kg.
“She has been working brilliantly and I gave her a good chance although I must admit it was a surprise to see her lead.
“She has been working the place down at home and her work on Tuesday was sensational.
“But I never dreamt she could beat those horses when she’s only a Class 1 horse and she really surprised me by how quick she went.
“There were some very fast horses in that race and I expected her to settle third or fourth and finish it off.”
Ryan said that he was unsure exactly what autumn carnival campaign he would map out for the former gun juvenile but that the $350,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25, Blue Diamond Stakes Day, was an attractive option for Schiffer.
“I haven’t really given it a lot of thought, it was all about getting through today first,” Ryan said on Saturday.
“She is a pretty handy sprinter and three-year-old fillies get in nicely at the weights in an Oakleigh Plate.
“There are also some very nice three-year-old fillies races in Sydney that we can look at.”
He was also adamant that Schiffer would see dry tracks only next prep.
“I know now the key to her is dry tracks,” he said.
“She doesn’t handle the wet at all and I’ll make sure I keep her to the firmer surfaces from now on.”
Track Schiffer’s progress throughout the coming season by bookmarking us here at Races.com.au.
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2012 Magic Millions Sprint Results & Finishing Order
Gold Coast Race 4 – 14/01/2012
|1||12||SCHIFFER||Gerald Ryan||Corey Brown||–||2||54.5kg||$14|
|2||3||SEEK AND FIND||Kelso Wood||Jason Taylor||0.3L||3||54.5kg||$2.90F|
|3||6||NUPTSE||Brian Wakefield||Tommy Berry||2.1L||7||54.5kg||$7|
|4||2||PAPRIKA||Liam Birchley||Craig Williams||2.4L||11||55.5kg||$5|
|5||7||WARRIOR GIRL||Kelly Purdy||Glyn Schofield||2.6L||6||54.5kg||$12|
|6||1||GOLD TRAIL||Gary Portelli||Nash Rawiller||3.6L||9||58kg||$3.90|
|7||5||JOINT CHIEFS||Brian Wakefield||Glen Colless||4.6L||10||54.5kg||$21|
|8||11||BELLE D’AMOUR||Barry Baldwin||Chris Munce||5.9L||5||54.5kg||$18|
|9||4||CRAIGLEA FALCON||Peter Fleming||Kelvin Wharton||6.1L||12||54.5kg||$26|
|10||8||CHILLED||Les Kelly||Brad Stewart||6.6L||1||54.5kg||$101|
|11||10||HUCKLEBERRY DANE||Liam Birchley||Paul Hammersley||6.9L||4||54.5kg||$31|
|12||9||SIR MONASHEE||Darren Bell||Matthew Palmer||7L||8||54.5kg||$51|