By Ray Hickson
Trainer Gerald Ryan is confident promising three-year-old Bandersnatch has taken no harm from the mishap that forced his late scratching last week and can get his Scone Guineas campaign back on track at Kensington on Saturday.
While it’s not normal practice for Ryan to use such a short turnaround he said there’s no reason Bandersnatch shouldn’t take his place in the TAB Handicap (1400m).
“He trot and cantered on Sunday morning and again Monday and he galloped on Tuesday,’’ Ryan said.
“I always find it awkward to change tack, we had him geared up to go last week but what do you do. It’s just something I don’t like doing.’’
Bandersnatch was a well supported favourite for the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas last Saturday, won by Dawn Passage, before he kicked out and sustained a cut to his leg.
Ryan said the horse was a bit flighty before he entered the mounting yard and that the issue didn't need any serious intervention.
“It was only a little razor cut on the outside of his cannon bone but he must have struck a blood vessel,’’ he said.
“It hasn’t caused him any grief, we didn’t treat it and just bandaged it.
“He was going well leading into that race but after they went two furlongs I was glad he wasn’t in it with the pace they were going.”
Bandersnatch was $2.90 favourite with TAB on Thursday on the back of an excellent summer campaign where he won three of his four starts and finished second in the other.
As Ryan alluded, he’d trialled to the trainer’s liking leading into last week’s planned first-up assignment and Saturday’s race holds no fears for him.
“I don’t think it is any tougher than what he was running in over the summer,’’ he said.
“Most of his runs were three weeks apart and that’s why last week was good for the Scone Guineas.
“If something happened and he doesn’t run on Saturday I’d trial him and go straight to the Guineas but you trial for nothing or you race for $100,000.’’
The $200,000 Inglis Guineas (1400m) will be run at Rosehill on May 16 due to programming changes forced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ryan has turned to Doncaster winning jockey James Innes Jnr to reignite talented three-year-old Cardiff in the Inglis Broodmare Sale 10 May Sprint (1100m).
It’s a big vote of confidence in the new Group 1 winning jockey to be called upon to replace Nash Rawiller after Cardiff disappointed running fifth at his first start as a gelding at Kensington on April 15.
Bandersnatch runs second in a trial at Rosehill on April 20
Cardiff, a $7.50 chance with TAB, was a dual acceptor and Ryan elected to take on the higher Benchmark race due to a favourable draw.
“I went to the 1100m race because I thought there was too much speed drawn inside him in the other one,’’ he said.
“It all depends how he settles, when he fires up he can be difficult to ride.
“He proved difficult even for Nash but I put James Innes back on because he rides him a lot in his work and he’s ridden him a couple of times in his races and the horse has settled.’’
Meanwhile, Ryan said he’s weighing up options for Mansa Musa and is leaning towards saving him until Wednesday instead of jumping from a wide gate in the Sky Racing Active Handicap (1000m).
“There’s good speed underneath him which is why I scratched Cardiff from that race,’’ he said.
“Having a look at the map I don’t know where he’s going to end up and if you’re four wide over 1000m there you have no hope.’’