Chris Waller’s last start Chipping Norton Stakes champ Boban heads a smart field of middle distance gallopers in this Saturday’s 2014 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill Racecourse.
The richest race on the Sydney card for Saturday, this year’s $1 million Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) has drawn a final field of 15 acceptors.
Four of those come from the stables of triple premiership winning trainer Waller, including his very talented Bernardini four-year-old Boban.
Winner of the Emirates Stakes over the Flemington mile to see out a stellar spring campaign last prep, Boban has had three runs this time in most recently becoming a dual Group 1 champ with their easy Chipping Norton Stakes victory at Warwick Farm on March 8.
They were ridden by Glyn Schofield from barrier four (of 8) that day, Schofield staying on for their latest Group 1 run this weekend where they have drawn barrier nine – a gate that is yet to produce a George Ryder Stakes winner.
While they drop back in distance here (100m) that has worked well historically for six of the past 10 George Ryder Stakes winners who also came off a longer distanced effort.
Recent history also shows being prepared by Waller is the key to a George Ryder win as he’s prepared three of the past four champions in the race with Danleigh (2010), Rangirangdoo (2011) and Metal Bender in 2012.
Boban is joined in the field this year by three of their stable mates: veteran galloper My Kingdom Of Fife (barrier 14) having their second run after a two and a half year absence from the track, Sacred Falls (barrier two) and Red Tracer.
O’reilly stallion Sacred Falls is no stranger to the Group 1 stage having won the 2012 NZ 2000 Guineas when prepared in New Zealand, and then the Doncaster in the wet over last year’s George Ryder winner Pierro at Randwick.
They are second-up here following a Canterbury Stakes fourth to the since retired Appearance where they seemed to tire late in the 1300m feature on March 15, their fitness surely improved from the run.
Red Tracer meanwhile looks Boban’s biggest threat, the six-year-old daughter of Dane Shadow vying for her third Group 1 win.
One of Waller’s most consistent performers, Red Tracer won last year’s Myer Classic narrowly over stable mate Catkins giving her dual Group 1 victories after her Tattersall’s Tiara win in Brisbane that winter.
She returned with a Rosehill victory in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) before a luckless third in the Canterbury Stakes.
There she nearly fell just after the jump settling sixth in the 10-horse field before making up incredible ground over the final 200m to snare third.
The Canterbury Stakes has in fact produced the past three George Ryder Stakes winners, including Pierro last year who completed the double.
Along with Boban there are then three other last start winners in the mix this year with Joe Pride’s Terravista after their third on the trot following their Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes – Liverpool City Cup double, and the Peter Moody-trained duo of Fat Al (barrier 15) and Lidari (barrier 10).
Al Maher five-year-old Fat Al comes off a Listed Bendigo victory over 1600m from a fortnight ago while French import Lidari caught the eye at Flemington on March 8 winning the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) on commanding style.
Also with dual representation in the George Ryder field is Canterbury Stakes winner Appearance’s trainer Guy Walter with his Epsom Handicap third placegetter Toydini (barrier four) on the up after a Canterbury Stakes fifth and Streama (barrier three).
Stratum mare Streama was runner-up to Boban in the Emirates Stakes during the spring on the back of her Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) win at Randwick, the five-year-old also coming via the Canterbury for this having run sixth after getting caught three wide early.
The other more notable hopes then include Group 2 winning four-year-old Ninth Legion for Team Hawkes, Gai Waterhouse’s returning Melbourne Cup failure Tres Blue, El Roca and Eurozone.
Kiwi raider El Roca has been in top form this campaign, the Trent Busuttin-trained Fastnet Rock colt winning first-up at Rosehill before their second in the Liverpool City Cup and then the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) when just nudged out by Dissident on March 15.
James & Bart Cummings’ Northern Meteor colt Eurozone, third in the Randwick Guienas last time out, meanwhile will be ridden by Jim Cassidy from barrier one, a gate that has produced six of the past 30 George Ryder Stakes winners as has barrier six belong this year to Speediness.
The complete George Ryder Stakes 2014 field, barriers and jockeys are detailed in the table below.
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2014 George Ryder Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 7 – 4:00pm (AEST) – 29/03/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x11111x541||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||9||59kg||117|
|2||342311274x||GORDON LORD BYRON (IRE)||Tom Hogan||Craig Williams||5||59kg||114|
|3||x1112x21x0||MY KINGDOM OF FIFE (GB)||Chris Waller||–||14||59kg||112|
|4||21x47835x4||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||2||59kg||111|
|5||4x51316x85||TOYDINI||Guy Walter||Blake Shinn||4||59kg||109|
|6||x14423x627||SPEEDINESS||Colin Scott||Damien Oliver||6||59kg||108|
|7||0x00x80x31||FAT AL||Peter G Moody||Craig Newitt||15||59kg||104|
|8||x225x13x71||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||10||59kg||104|
|9||15x1112x11||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||Jason Collett||12||59kg||104|
|10||05x52101x3||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||7||59kg||100|
|11||6513211x0x||TRES BLUE (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||8||58.5kg||104|
|12||011x211x13||RED TRACER||Chris Waller||–||13||57kg||115|
|13||432x212x56||STREAMA||Guy Walter||Kerrin McEvoy||3||57kg||113|
|14||1125×122||EL ROCA||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Hugh Bowman||11||56kg||104|
|15||111861×243||EUROZONE||Bart & James Cummings||Jim Cassidy||1||56kg||100|