Superstar colt Pierro heads a strong 11-horse field for the Group 1 2013 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) which will take place as part of a bumper Golden Slipper day card at Rosehill on Saturday.
Last year’s autumn two-year-old champion has given every indication he will again be a dominant autumn force, having won the first two starts of his campaign.
The Lonhro colt was gritty to tough out a win in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes on a heavy track first-up before beating stablemate More Joyous to claim the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes.
The winner of 10 of 12 starts and nearly $4 million in prizemoney will jump from barrier seven on Saturday.
The only other three-year-old in the field is Rebel Dane who was a close runner-up to Pierro in the Hobartville Stakes.
But the Gary Portelli-trained colt will have to bounce back from a last-start fourth in the Randwick Guineas where he was beaten four lengths despite starting as favourite.
Chris Waller has accepted with his number one galloper Shoot Out who is coming off a strong first-up performance where he came from near the back of the field to win the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes.
On his way to the Doncaster Mile, the High Chaparral gelding will be chasing a sixth Group 1 title this weekend.
Manighar was without a doubt one of the stars of last year’s Autumn Carnival but questions are beginning to be asked about his racing future.
The triple Group 1 winner has beaten just one horse home in two starts this autumn and finished 13 lengths last in the Ranvet Stakes on March 23.
Heading into the race in strong form is Queensland gelding Solzhenitsyn who finished off well for third in the Canterbury Stakes first-up.
The Robert Heathcote-trained galloper proved himself a top line performer in the spring when winning the Group 1 Toorak Handicap.
In a strong George Ryder Stakes field, other runners include Chris Waller-trained veteran Danleigh, 2012 Rosehill Guineas winner Laser Hawk, Emirates Stakes winner Happy Trails and New Zealand galloper King Mufhasa.
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George Ryder Stakes 2013 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||2132x175x1||SHOOT OUT||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4||59kg||116|
|2||1123x26x00||MANIGHAR (FR)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||8||59kg||116|
|3||x415421530||KING MUFHASA (NZ)||Bruce Wallace||Michael Rodd||12||59kg||116|
|4||0x3744x28x||RELIABLE MAN (GB)||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||5||59kg||114|
|5||121×325122||VEYRON (NZ)||Linda Laing||Rogan Norvall||6||59kg||112|
|6||00x316x533||DANLEIGH||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||2||59kg||111|
|7||6x121501x9||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Glyn Schofield||11||59kg||111|
|8||11x1313x82||LASER HAWK||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||10||59kg||109|
|9||11x13136x3||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||9||59kg||109|
|10||2106x10x77||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||1||59kg||98|
|11||11x1123x11||PIERRO||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||7||56.5kg||116|
|12||111×124||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Craig Williams||3||56.5kg||101|