Grahame Begg’s smart Dubawi mare Secret Admirer will look to further her Doncaster Mile claims when she takes on an open field in the George Ryder Stakes 2012 at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.
One of five Group 1 features headlining a crack nine-race Golden Slipper Day program, the $400,000 Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) attracted 23 nominations this morning.
Among the early entries are six mares including Begg’s 2011 Epsom Handicap winner Secret Admirer.
Fifth in last year’s Cox Plate and third in the Emirates Stakes after her Epsom success, Secret Admirer will run for the fourth time this year in the George Ryder Stakes.
The best of the four-year-olds’ opening three runs came last start at Rosehill on March 24, Secret Admirer finishing just a long neck second to Ofcourseican in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic over the George Ryder Stakes distance (1500m).
That run saw Secret Admirer storm into calculations for the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 21.
In the latest Doncaster Mile odds Secret Admirer is the $9 second pick behind $8 co-favourites King’s Rose and Niagara.
Both the Peter Moody-trained King’s Rose, coming off a Coolmore Classic third, and Gai Waterhouse’s Group 2 Ajax Stakes winner from last Saturday Niagara have also been nominated for the George Ryder Stakes this weekend.
Also among Secret Admirer’s possible rivals in the George Ryder Stakes is Coolmore Classic winner Ofcourseican.
While the quality of her rivals will be top-class, Secret Admirer’s regular rider Brenton Avdulla believes that will be exactly what spurs her on.
“All her best wins have come in big fields where there was plenty of speed,” Avdulla said.
“We know that she can’t adapt to races that are run at a crawl and then they sprint.
“In the Ryder, speed is not going to be a problem and she will be fitter for her last run.
“She gets a bit of weight off the boys and she will be there at the finish.”
Begg made the decision to test Secret Admirer up against the boys in the George Ryder Stakes in favour of a clash with Waterhouse’s glamor mare More Joyous and Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker in the fillies and mares $400,000 Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) on Saturday.
“I want to run in the race which is best for her Doncaster preparation,” Begg explained.
“We could take on the mares and More Joyous but there will be no speed in the race and we know that will give us no chance.
“We need tempo, so she can hit the line, so the George Ryder is our race.
“They’re both Group 1s and worth the same prizemoney.
“If you look back through history it is probably a better indicator to your chances in the Doncaster than the Queen Of The Turf.”
Bookmark us here at Races.com.au to view the 2012 George Ryder Stakes field, barriers and jockeys once released on Wednesday.