By Ray Hickson
It's not going to be easy, and the preparation hasn’t been ideal, but trainer Gerald Ryan is prepared to back the ability of talented colt Standout to be a force in the Group 1 $480,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Due to an aversion to wet tracks Standout hasn’t raced since he beat one home in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes on a soft track back on March 7.
Ryan said he’s done his best to compensate for the lack of hard racing and he’s done a lot more work than just that public barrier trial win almost four weeks ago suggests.
“He hasn’t had the ideal preparation leading into a 1400m for the first time but I tried to counteract it,’’ Ryan said.
“It’s hard to win a Group 1 off such a long break but that’s the way it has to be.
“He’s had that trial, he’s had a couple of good gallops, he had a jump out on Tuesday morning over 900m. We tried to do the balancing act with him but he seems bright and well.
“If he runs in the first four I’ll be rapt.”
Standout is a $19 chance in the All Aged but Ryan said he should be judged on his dry track form which includes a comfortable win over Alizee and White Moss in the Expressway Stakes (1200m) at the start of February.
Standout wins a trial at Warwick Farm on March 20
Glen Boss rides the three-year-old on Saturday and while drawn somewhat awkwardly Ryan said it’s not a major concern.
“I’d like him midfield, I’d be content with midfield and three wide with cover but not any closer,’’ he said.
“He seems bright, we’ve kept the work up to him. I’d like to see where he sits.”
Ryan is a lot more bullish about the chances of Bottega in the Group 3 $140,000 Cactus Imaging Frank Packer Plate (2000m) and says stablemate Fortress Command shouldn’t be overlooked either.
Bottega was narrowly beaten in the Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) two weeks ago, a race Ryan feels was one that got away.
“A horse came out on him in the straight and intimidated him, I reckon if that didn’t happen he’d have won the race,’’ he said.
“Hopefully we can get the right run, he’s going to 2000m for the first time but he gives every indication he will run it.
“He’s a big immature horse and he’s going to get better as he gets older.’’
Bottega is an $8 chance in the Frank Packer while stablemate Fortress Command is at $17 having come through the A-grade races like the Randwick Guineas and his last start sixth in the Tulloch Stakes.
“He’s been thrown in the deep end and I think as well as struggling to get fit he’s been struggling on the wet tracks,’’ he said.
“He has a better draw, I hope he can travel a bit closer.’’
And a drying track is also in Group 1 winning mare Booker’s favour as she reappears for the first time in six weeks in the Group 3 $140,000 TAB Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) where she’s the outsider of the field at $61.
“She’s looking for a better track. She’s had a couple of jump outs since she’s raced and she has pleased in her work,’’ Ryan said.