The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
After a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival assault targeting the sprint majors at home down under, connections of the Gerald Ryan-trained filly Snitzerland are eyeing an international campaign for her with Royal Ascot 2014 on the horizon.
A $1.5 million earning daughter of Snitzel, rising four-year-old Snitzerland boasts an outstanding record with seven wins from her 14 starts to date but is yet to salute at elite level.
She’s had five Group 1 assignments, including her second to super colt Pierro is last year’s Golden Slipper, with owners still waiting for the top prize.
During her latest prep Snitzerland enjoyed a first-up win in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) beating home Decision Time by three lengths before her second to Bel Sprinter in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) in March.
Things went amiss at the end of April however when she failed to finish in the money crossing seventh to Platelet in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide.
Ryan is confident she will bounce back this coming spring campaign however with Snitzerland back in his stables this week.
She’s likely to target the Melbourne short-distance features including the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday October 25.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival’s $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, Saturday November 9, is also on the cards.
Her other connections are looking further ahead with part-owner Neil Werrett, of Black Caviar fame, suggesting she could be Royal Ascot bound during our winter next year.
“She will only have two starts in the spring from four races we have picked out,” Ryan explained.
“They are the (Group 2) McEwen Stakes (at Moonee Valley on September 14), the (Group 2) Schillaci (Stakes at Caulfield on September 21) the Manikato and what was the Patinack.
“Then she will come back for the Lightning Stakes in the autumn.
“That’s the race we have targeted and if she can get a Group One Neil would like to think about Royal Ascot.”
Royal Ascot proved a happy hunting ground for Werrett last year with the since retired Queen of the Turf Black Caviar travelling over to score the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) in the most nerve-wracking of her total 25 career wins.
The $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) meanwhile runs at Flemington during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival in mid-February and is renamed now in honour of three-time winner Black Caviar.
As for how she’s come through her spell Ryan, having visited her in pre-training, said she was doing well putting on some condition and strengthening up ahead of her return.
“She has really grown and put on weight,” he said.
“She has always been pretty small but she looks to have strengthened up a lot so it all looks good.”
To follow Snitzerland throughout her coming preparations stay tuned to Races.com.au.au.
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