Jockey Hugh Bowman has revealed that he will be happy to take El Roca straight to the front of the 2014 George Ryder Stakes field when he jumps from an outside gate in the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
El Roca will start in barrier 11 in the George Ryder Stakes tomorrow, but Bowman is not worried about the wide draw and told Racing Ahead this morning that he believes the son of Fastnet Rock has the tactical speed required to take up the running in the early stages of the race.
“I am happy with the draw and he showed the other day that he has the tactical pace,” Bowman said.
“I would be happy to lead.
“I will roll along from the wide barrier and even though the track will be rain affected with any luck it will play like it did last week.”
El Roca started his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with a win in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 15 and finished second in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on March 8 before being narrowly denied a maiden Group 1 win by Dissident in the Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15.
Bowman said that he has been happy with the form of El Roca this preparation, but believes that he will need to improve to be a winning chance against the likes of Boban and Red Tracer in the 2014 George Ryder Stakes this weekend.
“We were a bit disappointed not to win the Randwick Guineas; he loomed up like he was going to go on with it, but just faded on his run in the last fifty metres,” Bowman said.
“Three-year-olds have a good record in the race, but in saying that this is a very strong edition and there are some excellent horses in the race.
“I think that he is going to have to lift on his last run, but his work the other morning suggests that he has come on.
“He has been aimed at the Doncaster so he is really starting to heat his peak now.”
Bowman is chasing his third win in the George Ryder Stakes after previously winning the race with Court’s In Session In 2005 and Danleigh in 2010.