By Ray Hickson
Trainer Gerald Ryan believes we’re entering a vintage year for three-year-olds and he just hopes unbeaten colt Peltzer proves to be spoken about among the best of them.
Ryan says the group that includes Farnan, King’s Legacy, North Pacific, Rothfire and Doubtland, Mamaragan and Anders - Peltzer’s rivals in Saturday’s Group 3 $160,000 TAB San Domenico Stakes (1100m) – is shaping up to be exceptional.
He’s well versed to speak about outstanding sprinting colts – Trapeze Artist, Snitzel and Racer’s Edge among the best of them he's trained – and while he’s at pains to point out Peltzer isn’t at their level yet he has the potential to reach the top grade among his peers.
“I reckon this is a good bunch and I’m not saying he’s not there, I’m just saying he has to prove himself,’’ Ryan said.
“You have to take them on to see where you sit. There’s plenty of races you can go to if you don’t want to go up against them.
“A lot of people are talking Everests and all that, I reckon he is a long way off a race like that until he proves himself.
“I’m happy with him, he’s working well, whatever he does on Saturday he will improve off.”
At each of his three starts to date Peltzer has held a comfortable margin over his rivals, he came from behind to beat Anders on debut at Kembla on April 28, and that colt hasn’t tasted defeat since, before all the way wins over 1200m and 1300m at Randwick in May.
There’s never been a knock on those performances but Ryan’s point is that was off-carnival autumn form and he’s about to face off with the real A-graders in the lead up to next month’s Group 1 Golden Rose.
Ryan, who now trains in partnership with Sterling Alexiou, has won the San Domenico twice - with classy filly Snitzerland in 2012 and another talented colt in Zariz back in 2000 - and says, while he has upside, Peltzer needs a top two finish to satisfy him that he is capable of taking the steps towards the big time.
Peltzer was a $4 chance with TAB on Wednesday in a competitive San Domenico market and sits on the $11 line in a Golden Rose picture that will get a serious shake up come Saturday afternoon.
“Every three-year-old in the joint is aimed at it, if he measures up he’ll go there,’’ Ryan said.
“If he doesn’t there’s plenty of other races you can go to. He’s had a good prep, he looks healthy, he’s working well so I can’t ask him to do any more.”
Kerrin McEvoy ventured to Rosehill on Tuesday morning to partner Peltzer in his final gallop and in his recent trial, one that was a lot more eventful than Ryan would have liked.
He won the 900m heat, in which Doubtland finished third, but not before throwing a scare through the camp in the tie up area when he took fright at a TV camera.
“They put the cameras half way along the stalls and he’d been walking around down there for 20 minutes,’’ Ryan said.
“They started to lead him up and put Kerrin on him and while they were leading him up they were taking the ear muffs off. He saw the camera and lost it and swung around, when he swung around his bridle came off.”
Peltzer wins a trial at Rosehill on August 18
Ryan expects a good track will see a return to form by Kumasi in the Group 3 $160,000 De Bortoli Wines Ming Dynasty (1400m) after he floundered in the heavy ground in the Listed Rosebud (1100m) behind Anders three weeks ago.
The Snitzel colt was runner-up behind Prague in the Pago Pago earlier this year and was $6 in early betting with TAB as he steps up in trip second-up.
“He doesn’t like a wet track and he’s been itching for the 1400m I reckon,’’ Ryan said.
“Getting to the corner Brenton (Avdulla) said he was travelling like a winner but as soon as he let him down he didn’t travel at all.’’