Trainer Gerald Ryan will use Harper’s Choice’s performance in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday to gauge the four year old’s Epsom Handicap prospects.

Tycoon Tara, above, is among the nominations for the Missile Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

Tycoon Tara, above, is among the nominations for the Missile Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

Harper’s Choice will be having his first run back since filling the runner’s up stall behind Jon Snow in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 1 but Ryan is still unsure if the Street Cry stallion is a future staying prospect.

“It’s a good place to kick off with him,” Ryan told AAP.

“The plan is to run him over 1200 then 1400 metres and decide after that whether he could be an Epsom horse.

“I’m not convinced he is a stayer but we’ll keep an open mind until we see him race.”

The Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) will be run at Randwick on September 30 during the Sydney Spring Carnival.

Ryan decided to tackle the Group 1 three year old races during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival with Harper’s Choice who did show improvement as the distances were increased and after running sixth to Inference in the Group 1 $1m Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick went one placing better when fifth to Gingernuts in the Group 1 $600,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill.

The front running Harper’s Choice then nearly stole the show at big odds when run down by the Kiwi three year old Jon Snow in the Australian Derby.

Group 1 winners Le Romain and Tycoon Tara and the well performed The Monstar and Jungle Edge are among the fourteen nominations for the Missile Stakes.

Le Romain is having his first run back since running second to Tivaci in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 15 and trainer Kris Lees has also nominated stablemate Invincible Gem who showed plenty of potential during the Sydney Autumn Carnival with a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Randwick followed by a second in the Randwick Guineas.

The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Tycoon Tara is also resuming from a spell after winning the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m) at Doomben on June 24 and the Randwick trainers have also nominated That’s A Good Idea for the Missile Stakes.

Weights for the 2017 Missile Stakes (1200m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Weight Hcp Rating
1 251x11202x LE ROMAIN G 5 Kris Lees 1 58.5kg 116
2 1412×05771 TYCOON TARA M 7 Peter & Paul Snowden 2 56.5kg 110
3 8×53135120 JUNGLE EDGE G 7 Mick Bell 3 58.5kg 108
4 6618×03122 THE MONSTAR G 7 Brett Cavanough 4 58.5kg 105
5 887x0x7101 BOSS LANE G 7 Ron Quinton 5 58.5kg 104
6 4x6548x2x6 THAT’S A GOOD IDEA G 8 Peter & Paul Snowden 6 58.5kg 101
7 4434x2407x DENMAGIC M 5 David Pfieffer 7= 56.5kg 94
8 2x1541112x INVINCIBLE GEM M 4 Kris Lees 7= 56.5kg 94
9 x31212652x HARPER’S CHOICE H 4 Gerald Ryan 9= 58.5kg 89
10 32×1131121 MEMES M 4 Jason Coyle 9= 56.5kg 89
11 42272151×6 HE’S A GIVEN G 6 Clarry Conners 11 58.5kg 74
12 9x4113x125 BOLERO KING G 5 Clarry Conners 12 58.5kg 73
13 521113×444 DORF STAR G 5 Clarry Conners 13 58.5kg 71
14 x17x551321 MANA G 6 Craig Ritchie 14 58.5kg 75

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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