Gerald Ryan is happy with the condition of Dothraki heading into the 2014 Queensland Guineas and the veteran trainer is confident that the talented colt is a genuine winning chance in the Group 2 event at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Dothraki has performed well in each of his four race starts since returning to the races in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) on April 6, highlighted by a narrow win in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) on May 3, and was far from disgraced when third in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 17.
Despite the strong performance, Ryan told Racing Ahead that he thought Dothraki had gone into the race slightly jaded after three starts on wet tracks, but believes that the Mossman colt is back to peak fitness going into the Queensland Guineas this weekend.
“It has been his aim all the way along,” Ryan said.
“The only negatives that I could have about his preparation this time in was that his first three runs were on heavy tracks and I think going into the Fred Best he might have been a little jaded.
“We have backed off him since, freshened him up and taken him to the beach a few times and he seems bright and well.
“I didn’t see him work Tuesday morning, but he worked at the Gold Coast and worked really well and this morning he just did a bit of pace work up the straight.
“He is back on a firm track, the last time he ran over 1400 he won on a firm track at Flemington and I am happy with him going into the race.
“I think that it is a very competitive race and there are a few chances in it and he is one of them.”
The Queensland Guineas will be run with a capacity field of 18 runners, but there does not look to be a great deal of pace in the Group 2 event and Ryan expects Dothraki to take up his usual position right on the speed.
Ryan said that he would not be against Nash Rawiller leading on Dothraki in the Queensland Guineas, but said that he expects there to be more speed than experts expect in the Group 2 race.
“I imagine that he will be in the first three and if he is going to get any easy time in front I wouldn’t be against telling Nash to do it,” Ryan said.
“He knows the horse, he has won on the horse and the only thing I wouldn’t want to see is him kicking two or three lengths clear at the 200 metre mark because I know that he will pull up.”
Ryan is on the second line of 2014 Queensland Guineas betting markets at a quote of $7; with Stradbroke Handicap contender Hucklebuck ($4.60) a narrow favourite from Fred Best Classic winner Havana ($5.50).