Sydney’s Gerald Ryan is out to turn the tables on the gun fillies of last racing season stepping up the Golden Rose 2017 preparations of a host of his top colts.
Rosehill-based horseman Ryan is one of the first to admit that the two-year-old fillies held the colts’ and geldings’ measure in the majors over the summer – autumn season starting with the Magic Millions Classic win of Houtzen.
From there it was all about the girls as Catchy won Melbourne’s Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) in late February, before She Will Reign took out the $3 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) beating home fellow fillies Frolic (2nd) and Tulip (3rd) in the world’s richest race for juveniles.
Looking ahead to the upcoming spring features for the rising three-year-olds, Ryan is hopeful his smart crop of boys can even things out as stablemates Menari, Trapeze Artist and Condor Heroes target the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 9.
“I don’t think the fillies are going to improve from the autumn but the colts could jump out of the ground,” Ryan told the media this week.
Over the past three decades Ryan has saddled-up nine Golden Rose hopefuls for just the one third place finish.
Snitzel colt Menari, fourth in the Golden Slipper, looks set to kick off his campaign in the $200,000 Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 5 against an open-age field of rivals.
“He’s come back big and strong – really well,” Ryan said.
Menari was brave in his Golden Slipper performance, the $20 outsider unsuited to the Heavy (10) track.
He backed up and encountered another rain-affected track last time out running 10th to Invader in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on April 1, which was also Menari’s first look at the 1400m.
Also Golden Rose bound for Ryan are his ATC Sires’ Produce third placegetter Trapeze Artist, winner of the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra by three lengths in early March, and untapped Not A Single Doubt colt Condor Heroes who was last seen running second to Property during ‘The Championships’ in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m).
Ryan plans to keep his trio separated in the early stages of their campaigns before, hopefully, launching a multi-pronged attack on the Golden Rose field.
“Him [Menari], Trapeze Artist and Condor Heroes all look really good,” Ryan said.
“Trapeze Artist will probably kick off in the Rosebud and I’m thinking about the San Domenico with Condor Heroes.
“They’re all around the same time but we’ll just keep them apart and aim them towards to the Golden Rose. Maybe Menari will stick to the sprints.”
The $125,000 Listed The Rosebud (1200m) runs on Missile Stakes Day, while the $150,000 Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) takes place a week later at Rosehill Gardens on August 12.
If Ryan does opt to keep Menari to the shorter-distance features, there’s a chance the youngster could earn a slot in the $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick in mid-October.
The preference though will be a run against his own age down the Flemington straight on Victoria Derby Day during November’s Melbourne Cup Carnival in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
Menari currently pays around $15 in pre-nomination Golden Rose odds at bookmakers around the country, futures betting led by the Godolphin-raced Lonhro colt Kementari who is yet to race in stakes’ grade.
Kementari put his name into Golden Rose calculations breaking his maiden status at career start number two at Randwick on May 27 with a four length victory over 1400m.