A less-than capacity field of eight has been confirmed for Saturday’s 2016 Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens; highlighted by the inclusion of several previous winners at the highest level of racing.
Winx has not tasted defeat since autumn last year and will be very hard to beat in the George Ryder Stakes after returning to racing in typically strong form this time.
Capping her autumn and winter campaign with a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m), Winx resumed in spring for success in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) before taking out the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) in October.
Undoubtedly producing a career-best performance to date to end her 2015 campaign with a dominant win in the Cox Plate, the Street Cry mare resumed this time for success in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) before taking out the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) most recently.
While charged with overcoming arguably her biggest assignment in 2016 so far, Winx is undoubtedly the country’s best current racehorse and will probably be too classy for her rivals on Saturday.
Trainer Chris Waller is launch a three-pronged attack in the Group 1 feature after also confirming Kermadec and three-year-old Press Statement in the George Ryder Stakes field.
Turn Me Loose returned to winning form in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) last time out and will leave from the outside barrier in the 2016 George Ryder Stakes.
Stamping himself as one to watch from his first racing preparation, highlighted by success in the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) in November 2014, Turn Me Loose returned to racing last spring for sixth in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) across the ditch before debuting in Australia for second in the Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) on October 4th.
Returning to winning form in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) on October 8th, the Iffraaj gelding continued his positive form with success in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) before taking out the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) on November 7th.
Tuning up for fourth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) first-up this time, Turn Me Loose has been confirmed to be partnered by regular hoop Opie Bosson on Saturday.
Tinto was scratched from last weekend’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) with a minor ailment but has been confirmed to take her place in the George Ryder Stakes field.
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of the Queensland Oaks, Tinto has posted a number of commendable results this time and will leave from barrier 4 on Saturday with notable hoop Craig Williams in the saddle.
South Australian star Hucklebuck (barrier 3), Happy Clapper (barrier 2) and First Seal (barrier 5) complete the 2016 George Ryder Stakes field.
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2016 George Ryder Stakes Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||1x62111x41||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||Murray Baker||Opie Bosson||8||59kg||114|
|2||31x52140x3||KERMADEC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||6||59kg||113|
|3||x111x0x438||HUCKLEBUCK||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||3||59kg||109|
|4||11x5x111x4||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Brenton Avdulla||2||59kg||101|
|5||211x111x11||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||7||57kg||118|
|6||2x21226x12||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||5||57kg||109|
|7||167×702117||TINTO||Rex Lipp||Craig Williams||4||57kg||104|
|8||11x2511x12||PRESS STATEMENT||Chris Waller||James McDonald||1||56kg||108|