A field of nine will contest the $1m, Group 1 WFA The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday with champion mare Winx drawing barrier eight and opening with TAB.com.au at $1.06 to win her fourth George Ryder Stakes in succession.
Winx comes into the race, her last at Rosehill if she is retired after the Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 13th, off two wins in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes over 1400m on February 16th and the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes over 1600m on March 2nd, both at Randwick.
Should the Chris Waller trained seven-year-old Street Cry mare win the George Ryder Stakes it will take her prize money earnings to over $24 million.
Winx’s nearest rival according to the opening market is the Snowden trained Stratum five-year-old gelding Land Of Plenty at $17.00 which sums up the race. Land Of Plenty was fourth in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield on February 23rd, just over 1L from the winner Alize. He has barrier one.
The George Ryder Stakes is Race 5 on the nine race programme at 3.05pm.
The $700,000, Group 1 WFA Ranvet Stakes (2000m) follows the George Ryder Stakes at 3.45pm with a field of 15 and Godolphins’s Avilius (GB) as the opening favourite at $3.30.
Avilius was fifth in the Group 1 Australian Cup over 2000m at Flemington on March 9th after which he was found to have a black eye. Kerrin McEvoy rides with barrier 10.
Outside in barrier 11 is the Sir Mark Todd trained He’s Eminent (IRE) who is starting in Australia for the first time.
The five-year-old Frankel entire last raced for fifth in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes over 2400m at the Glorious Goodwood meeting on August 3rd last year. His last win was in the Group 2 Prix Guillaume over 2000m at Deauville on August 15th, 2017, with a familiar name, Avilius (GB), third. James McDonald rides.
He's Eminent shares the second line of the market at $7.50 with the New Zealand trained Danzdanzdance.
The Chris Gibbs and Michelle Bradley trained four-year-old Mastercraftsman mare, now a duel New Zealand Group 1 winner, returns to Rosehill after her fifth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes last year. Opie Bosson rides with barrier one.
The $700,000, Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) has a field of 13 including the first three home in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes over 1000m at Randwick on March 9th, Ball Of Muscle, Redzel and Viridine. They are joined by Nature Strip, Pierata and Graff in a very good field.
Redzel, top-weight with 59.5kg and barrier six, is the opening favourite at $4.00 followed by Kris Lees’ three-year-old Star Witness colt Graff at $6.00. Brenton Avdulla rides with barrier two.
Nature Strip, $7.00, races in Sydney for the first time with 55kg under James McDonald and barrier 10. Pierata, 56kg under Tommy Berry and barrier eight, shares $8.00 with Viridine, 52kg, Tim Clark and barrier four. Ball Of Muscle, 56kg under Glyn Schofield and barrier seven, is at $13.00.
The Galaxy is Race 8 at 5.10pm.
The meeting commences at 12.30pm with a field of 12 for the $160,000, Group 3 TAB Birthday Card Stakes (1200m). The Danny Williams She Knows is the top-weight with 58kg under Hugh Bowman.
The Rosehill track is currently rated a Heavy 9 after 34mm of rain over the last 24 hours and 141.5mm in the last seven days. The rail will be out 3m for the entire circuit.
Rosehill’s weather heading into Saturday has a forecast for Thursday of a partly cloudy day with a medium (60%) chance of showers with 2mm-8mm and 26c. Friday is partly cloudy with a slight (30%) chance of showers with 0mm-1mm and 26c and Saturday is also partly cloudy with 19c – 28c.
Winx and Kerrin McEvoy galloping between races at Rosehill last Saturday, picture Sportpix.com.au