The 2014 George Ryder Stakes field is paced full of quality; with fifteen talented middle distances gallopers set to contest the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Headlining the 2014 George Ryder Stakes field is triple Group 1 winner Boban, who will be chasing his second straight victory after returning to winning form in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1500m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
The majority of the runners in the George Ryder Stakes will be heading to the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12, but Boban (barrier nine) will be saved for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) if he performs well on Saturday.
Boban is joined in the 2014 George Ryder Stakes field by stablemates My Kingdom Of Fife, Sacred Falls and Red Tracer.
Red Tracer was expected to make her next appearance at the races in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5, but the prospect of a wet track this weekend has convinced Waller to give the daughter of Dane Shadow the chance to win a maiden Group 1 event at weight-for-age level, although she will need a bit of luck after drawing poorly in gate 13.
Guy Walter also has multiple runners in the 2014 George Ryder Stakes; with Streama and Toydini set to fly the flag for his stable after early favourite Appearance was ruled out of the Group 1 event after suffering a career-ending injury on Monday.
Streama (barrier three) and Toydini (barrier four) have both made slow starts to their 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaigns, but Walter is expecting both of his chances to produce an improved effort this weekend.
Arguably the most interesting runner in the 2014 George Ryder Stakes field is Tom Hogan-trained Gordon Lord Byron, who will be making his Australian racing debut in the $1 million race.
Gordon Lord Byron (barrier five) is a two-time Group 1 winner in Europe, taking out the 2012 Qatar Prix De La Foret (1400m) and 2013 Sprint Cup (1207m), and is a proven international performer after finishing fourth in the past two editions of the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m).
The Byron gelding has impressed connections with the way he has settled in Australia and he is set to press on to either the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) or Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) during The Championships.
Three-year-olds have an excellent record in the George Ryder Stakes and both Eurozone and El Roca will have the opportunity to replicate the likes of Haradasun (2007), Weekend Hussler (2008) and Pierro (2013) – who all took out the Group 1 event as three-year-olds.
El Roca (barrier 11) was narrowly denied his maiden win at Group 1 level by Dissident in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15, while Eurozone (barrier 1) is yet to produce a poor performance this preparation; finishing in the placings in both the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) and the Randwick Guineas.
The 2014 George Ryder Stakes field is rounded out by the Peter Moody-trained duo of Fat Al (barrier 15) and Lidari (barrier ten), the in-form Terravista (barrier 12), imported stayer Tres Blue (barrier eight), Doncaster Mile hopeful Speediness (barrier six) and Team Hawkes-trained Ninth Legion (barrier seven).