A bold showing by Snitzerland in the Group 2 $400,000 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday will convince trainer Gerald Ryan to head to the T J Smith Stakes in a month.
Snitzerland is lining up to win back to back Challenge Stakes but is facing her first test at Randwick after the weight for age sprint was run at Warwick Farm last year while the new grandstand was under construction at headquarters.
The Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 12, the first day of the two day ‘The Championships‘, will be the Sydney Autumn Carnival grand final for most of the country’s top sprinters and Ryan is keen to get there with the Snitzel mare.
“If she runs well I will have a go at the TJ. People say she goes well fresh and she’s a 1000m horse but we train her to win first up,” Ryan told the Sportsman.
“Whenever a horse wins first up and runs fast time there is never a heap of improvement in them and that’s why coming into this race I really like the four weeks between runs.”
Snitzerland, to be ridden by Brenton Avdula again, has drawn barrier eight, outside of main danger Buffering who will jump from gate three and Ryan insisted that his mare won’t be getting into any speed battle with the Queensland sprinter.
“I think she has proven herself and it is going to be tough enough where she is drawn outside them, but if they want to kick up underneath and lead we will take a sit,” Ryan said.
“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.”
Ryan gave Snitzerland a short break when she returned to Sydney after winning the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 15 and says the mare is in top order for the Challenge Stakes.
Favouritism for the Challenge Stakes has been see sawing back and forward between Snitzerland and Buffering since the field was released on Wednesday.
The Robert Heathcote trained Buffering currently heads the market order with Ladbrokes.com.au at $2.90 with Snitzerland drifting slightly to $3.10 after being the top pick earlier in the day at $2.80.
The Peter Snowden trained Sessions is the only other runner under double figures at $5 with Bel Sprinter and Whittington sharing the next line of betting at $14 just in front of Villa Verda at $15 while Buffering’s fellow Queenslander Temple Of Boom has been marked a $21 chance.