Despite a seven week break between runs trainer Gerald Ryan is convinced his smart mare Peace Force is fit enough for a big run in Queensland’s 2016 Magic Millions Fillies & Mares Handicap at the Gold Coast Racecourse on Saturday.
The six-year-old daughter of Bernardini hasn’t raced since her close third when beaten only a quarter-length in blanket finish behind Mighty Lucky in Rosehill’s Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) on November 28.
She has her first Gold Coast run this weekend and is a dual nominee on the Magic Millions Race Day holding entries for both the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) and the $1 million Magic Millions Fillies & Mares Handicap (1300m).
Ryan has confirmed plans to accept for the latter where Peace Force will take on her own kind under quality handicap conditions carrying 58.5kg with weights led by fellow Sydney visitor, the David Pfieffer-trained Razor Sharp Handicap – Canterbury Classic double winner at Randwick Cradle Me.
Peace Force shoots for her first win since her Doomben triumph in last winter’s Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) over Solicit in Brisbane and will need to be her best going up four kilos from the 54.5kg on her back last time out in the Festival Stakes.
She has a solid record over Saturday’s distance (4-1-1-0) and Ryan is hoping for a better barrier after she did it tough with Kerrin McEvoy aboard from barrier 13 of 14 in the Festival.
Originally the mare, a winner of seven of her 21 career starts for $449,485 in prize money, was set to have a lead-up run into the Magic Millions in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben last month.
Topping the markets for the summer showdown she was scratched after suffering a joint injury on the float trip to Brisbane, with Ryan also opting not to run her in Boxing Day’s Listed Goldmarket Handicap (1300m) at the Gold Coast subsequently won by stablemate Bachman who runs in the MM Cup on Saturday.
Despite the setbacks Ryan believes Peace Force is ready to return in the MM Fillies & Mares Handicap proving her fitness with a solid Saturday morning hit out over the weekend.
“She had a float trip up to Brisbane and back again and that’s like having two races,” he told AAP this week.
“She didn’t need to run. We gave her a good gallop at Rosehill on Saturday morning and she is ready for the race.”
The 2016 Magic Millions Fillies & Mares Handicap field and barriers are out on Wednesday morning so stay tuned.
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