The Robert Heathcote-trained favourite Rothfire...
The John Thompson-trained Dreamforce led all the way in the 2020 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day, the evergreen veteran improving on his third to Winx last year to celebrate his first Group 1 win at seven-years-old.
Ridden confidently by Nash Rawiller, Dreamforce ($12) held off two Group 1 winning New Zealand gallopers with The Bostonian (2nd) and beaten favourite Te Akau Shark (3rd) rounding out the trifecta in this year’s Group 1 $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
Jamie Richards’ star Kiwi raider and last start winner of the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), Te Akau Shark jumped the odds-on favourite for the George Ryder chasing the double Winx achieved four years on the trot from 2016-19.
Te Akau Shark raced keen and wide throughout for jockey Opie Bosson however and gave his rivals too much of a lead heading onto the straight.
Rawiller, who earlier rode Pierro to victory in the 2013 George Ryder Stakes, was happy to go forward on Fastnet Rock gelding Dreamforce who was coming off a luckless eighth in the Chipping Norton Stakes.
“I put the pedal to the metal well before straightening. I was sitting well out on the track but then cut the corner then continued out without knowing what happened behind me. I was hoping to throw them into disarray,” Rawiller said post-win.
“He showed a lovely turn of foot but I really thought at the 100m that I was going to get beat. To his credit he lifted again and fought the other bloke off which was pretty thrilling.”
Dreamforce went wide leading onto the straight and was too good for his rivals on the day beating the fast-finishing Tony Pike-trained The Bostonian who came off a lead-up win in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
In a photo for third, Te Akau Shark managed to finish in the money ahead of the three-year-old Brandenburg who was good again to round out the first four in the George Ryder Stakes results.
“He’s as honest as the day goes on, his record speaks for itself,” winning trainer Thompson said of Dreamforce after the race.
“The run the other day was better than it looks, he just went a bit quick in front there. Back to the 1500m today, Nash has been riding him work and knows the horse very well, he settled well today and I was confident coming to the corner.
“He’s got to be up there (as one of the best horses he’s trained) just for his honesty and his consistency.”
“He just had him in a nice rhythm today and when he can do that, he gives a real good kick. Nash said to me before the race ‘if I’m travelling well, I’ll get out into the better going’ and when he came out so wide, I knew he was confident.”
It was the sixth Group 1 start for Dreamforce who had run third in the race 12 months ago behind Winx before his second in the Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m).
His other best finish at elite level was behind Avilius in last September’s Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m), which followed on from his first-up win that prep in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) where he also defeated Te Akau Shark (2nd).
Thompson is likely to head towards the Doncaster Mile again this autumn when the classic runs at Randwick on April 4.
All-in Doncaster Mile odds at Ladbrokes.com.au on Dreamforce have firmed in from $51 to $12.
Te Akau Shark remains the $10 second favourite for the Doncaster behind 10-time Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Melody Belle after Bosson said the horse found the 1500m of the George Ryder a little sharp.
The Group 1 $600,000 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 18 is also a possibility for Dreamforce who has firmed in from $67 to $41 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
2020 George Ryder Stakes Results
|1||4||DREAMFORCE||John Thompson||Nash Rawiller||–||4||59kg||$12|
|2||3||THE BOSTONIAN (NZ)||Tony Pike||James McDonald||0.2L||7||59kg||$7|
|3||2||TE AKAU SHARK (NZ)||Jamie Richards||Opie Bosson||1.5L||8||59kg||$1.95F|
|4||8||BRANDENBURG (NZ)||John Sargent||Glen Boss||1.7L||3||56kg||$17|
|5||6||ALIZEE||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||3.5L||2||57kg||$13|
|6||5||BEST OF DAYS (GB)||James Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||3.8L||1||59kg||$41|
|7||7||SUPER SETH||Anthony Freedman||Mark Zahra||4.3L||9||56kg||$6.50|
|8||1||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Tommy Berry||4.7L||6||59kg||$21|
|9||9||SPEND||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tim Clark||4.8L||5||56kg||$26|
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