Irish sprinter Gordon Lord Byron was too good for the best of the Australian and New Zealand gallopers in winning the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill today.
Gordon Lord Byron ($19) had to come through a strenuous quarantine program at Werribee and Canterbury but top Irish trainer Tom Hogan was able to produce the six year old first up to score a neck win over the Melbourne trained Speediness ($26) and Kiwi colt El Roca ($7) with Sacred Falls ($7) running a good race to finish fourth.
“He is a proper horse,’ Hogan said.
“The facilities have been wonderful, just the quarantine was a bit long.”
“He should be fairly fit for his run here in two week’s time. That really should put him right.”
Hogan has nominated Gordon Lord Byron for both the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) and the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) both at Randwick at ‘The Championships’ in two weeks and will let the dust settle before deciding which road he will take.
Winning rider Craig Williams had a definite pre-race plan and had Gordon Lord Byron settled well back in the field and after searching for a run in the straight angled back to the inside to grab Speediness in the last few strides after the Victorian looked the winner.
El Roca set the pace from the start with High Bowman letting him stride to a clear lead at the 300m and the Kiwi three year old fought on well to finish third.
Race favourite Red Tracer ($3.70) was given a sweet ride by Michael Rodd just off the pace and after pulling the mare to the outside in the straight failed to threaten and finished in tenth spot.
Stablemate Boban ($8) settled near the tail of the field for Glyn Schofield but failed to run on in the wet conditions to finish seventh.