Ryan Hoping Rain Stays Away Before Challenge Stakes

By: Thomas Hackett
March 13th, 2014

Trainer Gerald Ryan has revealed that he would consider scratching Snitzerland from the 2014 Challenge Stakes, if the Royal Randwick track is affected by rain on Saturday.

Brenton Avdulla will partner Snitzerland in the Challenge Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday and has been given tactical freedom by trainer Gerald Ryan.

Brenton Avdulla will partner Snitzerland in the Challenge Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday and has been given tactical freedom by trainer Gerald Ryan. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

There has been plenty of rain in Sydney over the past week and, although there is no rain predicted on Saturday, Ryan told Racing Ahead this morning that he is worried about running Snitzerland on a wet track for the first time in her racing career.

“They have had 38 mill of rain at Randwick over the last week, we haven’t had that at Rosehill, and I wouldn’t want to see her on a wet track,” Ryan said.

“She is ok on dead tracks, but I wouldn’t want to see any worse than that.

“I would have a huge think about it; she has got that funny action in front.

“I would have to have a big think about it and have a discussion with (owners) Steve (McCann) and Neil (Werrett) about it.”

While Ryan is worried about the wet track; he could not be happier with the way that Snitzerland has bounced back from her maiden Group 1 win in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 15 and is confident that she is ready to run another big race in the Challenge Stakes this weekend.

Snitzerland will jump from barrier 8, in what is expected to be a high tempo race, and Ryan said that he will be leaving the riding instructions up to Brenton Avdulla; with the veteran trainer keen to avoid a speed battle in the early stages of the race.

“If she jumps like she did in the Lightning Stakes, I reckon that she would cross them,” Ryan said.

“If they kick up hard underneath her, she has won before with a sit, so you would let them go and just try to slot in.

“She will come back for you, she won the Danehill Stakes coming from behind them, so it wouldn’t worry me.

“I’m not getting into a speed battle with her and as I said to Brenton when she won the Lightning – just go out there and ride the bloody race as it unfolds.

“That is what he did and I think you just do that here.”

Snitzerland is currently equal favourite in 2014 Challenge Stakes betting markets, along with Buffering, and has been well supported to become the first sprinter since Star Of Florida in 2004 to win the Group 2 event in back-to-back years.

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