Trainer Gerald Ryan believes that Snitzerland produced the best trackwork of her racing career at Rosehill Gardens this morning and is in excellent condition heading into the Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Snitzerland broke through for her maiden victory at Group 1 level when she took out the Black Caviar Lightning Handicap (1000m) Flemington on February 15 and Ryan told TVN this morning that the daughter of Snitzel had come out of the win in excellent condition.
“She has trained on terrific since Flemington,” Ryan said.
“She had an easy week or so after it and she has just been pacing along.
“This morning she had a bit of a hit out and she worked as good as she ever did; she worked really well.”
Snitzerland was plagued by minor issues during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and was restricted to only two starts; finishing eighth in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 7 and second behind Lankan Rupee in the Listed Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day.
Ryan said that Snitzerland lacked aggression during her spring campaign, but he has been delighted with the manner in which she has returned for her autumn preparation.
“When she was a two-year-old she was really aggressive around the place and in herself and the last couple of preparations she hasn’t been like that,” Ryan said.
“All this preparation she has been like it; she is nice and relaxed in herself, but if she is going anywhere she is going there in a hurry.
“Through her work she is nice and relaxed; Brenton said this morning that he had to give her a dig to wake her up a bit and she really finished off as good as I have ever seen her finish.”
Snitzerland is aiming to join Star Of Florida (2003 and 2004), Cangronde (1997 and 1998), At Sea (1985, 1986 and 1987), Razor Sharp (1982, 1983 and 1984), San Domenico (1949 and 1950), Felbeam (1945 and 1946) and Golden Hop (1913 and 1914) as back-to-back winners of the Challenge Stakes.
The talented mare is currently on top of 2014 Challenge Stakes betting markets at a quote of $2.25 from triple Group 1 winner Buffering ($4), Darley sprinter Sessions ($6.50) and Gai Waterhouse-trained Whittington ($11).