Trainer Gerald Ryan is delighted with Solicit ahead of the 2016 Apollo Stakes, but he is unsure whether the talented mare is good enough to beat Winx in the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Solicit returned to the races in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 30 and she was backed into favouritism before the race, but was no match for Our Boy Malachi.
Ryan said that he was very happy with the performance of Solicit in the Expressway Stakes – indicating that none of the big money for the mare came from the stable – and he is confident that she will run well in the Apollo Stakes, but he told Racing Ahead that he feels the rest of the field may be racing for second behind Cox Plate winner Winx.
“It is a good race, but we can’t win it sitting at home in our box,” Ryan said.
“I thought her run was good, she travelled to him (Our Boy Malachi) than I thought she would, but in saying that they didn’t go that quick.
“Between the 300 and the 100 metre mark it looked as though she was going to run fourth, but the last part of her race was very good.
“She is going really well, this time last year I would have never thought she would run second in a weight-for-age race over 1200 metres first-up.
“She will run well, but probably the best we can hope for is to run second behind Winx.”
Solicit was originally set to head to Melbourne for a crack at both the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday and the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later, but he said this morning that he did not feel the need to travel the Street Cry mare ahead of her major 2016 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival goal in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m).
“Her main aim is the Coolmore,” Ryan said.
“Originally I was going to give her her next two runs at Caulfield on Saturday in the Orr and a fortnight later in the Futurity before we came back later for the Coolmore, but we are aiming her at a Group 1 race on her home track and I was just a bit uncomfortable about moving her.”
Solicit is currently available at 2016 Queen Of The Turf Stakes odds of $21, while Winx ($5) is a clear favourite from Stay With Me ($9), First Seal ($9) and Azkadellia ($11).