Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Gerald Ryan is looking forward to Saturday’s race return of his Group 1 winning filly Peggy Jean who will take on some top class competition first-up in the 2014 Furious Stakes at Royal Randwick.
Nine three-year-old fillies are entered for this weekend’s $175,000 Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) a race notorious for producing some star young gallopers ahead of the spring majors.
The headliner is of course the John O’Shea-trained Earthquake, winner of the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) as a two-year-old and runner-up in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) last time out in early April.
Another Group 1 winner in the mix however, out to score an upset over the sure to be odds-on favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au Earthquake, is Ryan’s Myboycharlie filly Peggy Jean.
A winner of two of her six starts to date for just over $900,000 in prize money, she enjoyed a strong autumn campaign that included a second behind Peter Moody’s subsequent Golden Slipper third placegetter Bring Me The Maid in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) in late March.
She relished a wet track that day and thrived on another Heavy-rated Sydney course at her next start when defeating the boys in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Last time out Peggy Jean was seen finishing fifth when stepped up to the mile for the first time in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) on April 26.
First-up on Saturday she’s back at a track she’s won two from three on, over a distance she should appreciate first-up and goes up against her own kind with the colts and geldings taking out of the equation.
Ryan worked her, and exciting stable mate Washington Heights who resumed with a second behind Nostradamus in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) on August 16, on Monday morning at Rosehill Gardens.
The conditions yesterday may have been foggy but it was clear enough to see that both of Ryan’s promising youngsters were doing everything right ahead of the spring majors as they worked over 800m on the course proper.
“I had them running 54.57sec for 800m, 37.37sec for the last 600m and they came home in 24.65sec for the final 400m which was good time as the track was in the slow range,” Ryan told The Daily Telegraph on Monday.
Washington Heights also runs at Randwick this weekend taking on the likes of Valentia and Panzer Division in the $125,000 Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality Handicap (1400m).
Both he and Peggy Jean are nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 13, but Ryan said if Peggy Jean were to win the Furious first-up she’d likely skip to Rose.
More Group 1 glory could still be on the agenda for her this time in however with entries pending for the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) and $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11, as well as Sydney’s $400,000 Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) back at Randwick that same weekend.
Washington Heights and Peggy Jean are to be Ryan’s only two runners at the races on Saturday, but he remains hopeful of bagging a double.
Also 2014 Golden Rose bound for the stable was Ygritte, the daughter of Snitzel having run a nice third behind the undefeated Hallowed Crown in the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m) last Saturday, while smart colt Rubick was still recovering after a virus setback.
“I’m leaning to running Ygritte in the Golden Rose,” Ryan said.
“She did not have a barrier trial prior to her first run so I expect she will continue to improve.
“Rubick is back in work after that setback with the virus.”
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