Irish galloper Gordon Lord Byron is set to make his Australian racing debut in the 2014 George Ryder Stakes after being included in the nominations for the Group 1 event that will be run at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Gordon Lord Byron arrived in Sydney on Sunday after spending two weeks at the International Equine Centre in Werribee and according to connections has settled in nicely ahead of his return to racing this weekend.
The Byron gelding has not been seen at the races since he finished fourth behind Glorious Days in the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on December 8 and he will be having his fifth straight start at Group 1 level after winning the Sprint Cup (1310m) at Haydock in September and performing fairly in the Group 1 Qatar Prix De La Foret (1600m) at Longchamp and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1609m) at Ascot.
The 2014 George Ryder Stakes nominations are packed fully of talent and the Group 1 event is set to feature another clash between leading Doncaster Mile contenders Appearance and Boban.
Appearance upset Boban to claim victory in both the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at the start of the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival before going on to win the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m), while Boban took advantage of the absence of Appearance to win the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
Three-year-olds have a strong record in the George Ryder Stakes and the 2014 edition is set to feature two of the most talented colts in Australia after both El Roca and Eurozone were included in the nominations.
El Roca was narrowly denied victory by Dissident in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Royal Randwick on March 15, but remains on track to contest both the George Ryder Stakes and the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), while Eurozone is still chasing a maiden win at the highest level of racing after finishing second in the Orr Stakes (1400m), fourth in the Australian Guineas (1600m) and third in the Randwick Guineas.
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has four horses in the George Ryder Stakes nominations, with My Kingdom Of Fife, Red Tracer and Sacred Falls set to join Boban in the Group 1 event, while other key nominees include William Reid Stakes runner-up Fontelina, classy mare Streama, imported stayer Tres Blue and Liverpool City Cup winner Terravista.