Trainer Gerald Ryan has revealed that he will instruct jockey Brenton Avdulla to settle Washington Heights towards the tail of the 2014 Ming Dynasty Quality field at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Washington Heights has worked home strongly in his two race starts to date in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 and the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 16 and Ryan told Racing Ahead that he would like to see the Commands colt settle in the early stages of the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) this weekend.
“Three quarters of the way back,” Ryan said when asked where he would like to see Washington Heights settle in the early stages of the race.
“He will probably have two behind him and I wouldn’t like to jump him out and get him fired up and over racing.
“I would just like to see him come out, find his feet and balance up.
“In saying that, in the San Domenico he travelled about two lengths closer than I thought he would, but he has to come back to us a little bit now.
“He is going good and I think that he would be in the last three on Saturday.
“You always like to see young horses hit the line and he has hit the line both times.”
Ryan opted against running Washington Heights in the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) last weekend and said that he is happy with his decision to wait a week with the three-year-old as he has taken plenty of benefit out of his first-up run.
Washington Heights needs to win the Ming Dynasty Quality to secure a place in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) field and Ryan admits that the talented colt should win on Saturday if he is going to be competitive at the highest level of racing during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“He came out of the San Domenico on the Monday and you wouldn’t have thought that he had had a start,” Ryan said.
“His coat has come through, he has got stronger in himself, he worked well on Monday morning and he finished off strongly this morning.
“He has this wrap on him and he has to stand up on Saturday to warrant where we would like to head with him, but at the moment I couldn’t be happier with the horse.”
Washington Heights is available at 2014 Ming Dynasty Quality odds of $2.30 and he is a clear favourite in the betting market for the Group 2 event with Ladbrokes Australia.