Trainer Gerald Ryan believes that Snitzerland will need to step-up when she makes her debut as a four-year-old in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Snitzerland performed well at Group 1 level against older horses during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival, winning the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) in dominant fashion before finishing second behind Bel Sprinter in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m), but will no longer have a substantial advantage at the weights.
Ryan told Racing Ahead that he was happy with the condition of Snitzerland but said that the daughter of Snitzel will need to improve again to win against a field that contains a number of Australia’s leading sprinters.
“She is as good as you can have her without having a race,” Ryan said on RSN.
“She is a lot stronger, her work has been good and her trial was good.
“I’m really happy with the way that she is going but she will need to take the next step.
“This is a bit harder, being weight-for-age, and she isn’t getting the weight advantage on the older horses like she was.”
There is expected to be plenty of early speed in the Moir Stakes, with Queensland sprinter Buffering the likely leader, but Ryan said he is yet to decide on the in-race plan for Snitzerland who has shown great versatility throughout her racing career.
“She has won off the speed and was only half a length behind Hay List in the Challenge Stakes,” Ryan said.
“In The Galaxy she led and they went awfully hard but when Damien (Oliver) won the Danehill Stakes on her she came from behind.
“A lot depends on where you draw and where the pace is early.”
Snitzerland was included in the nominations for the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) that were released by Racing Victoria yesterday, although Ryan admitted that she is no certainty to contest either race.
“At this stage you would like to say you would go straight onto the Manikato but Friday night will tell us more and we will reassess,” the veteran trainer said.
“If she is not quiet there and not quite up to them, there is always the Schillaci that you can go back too.
“Friday night will determine where we head with her.”