Ryan Looking for back to back Ken Russell memorials

Trainer Gerald Ryan is set to steer Dances On Stars on the same Winter path that saw him win the Listed $100,000 Moreton Hire Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) with Hot Snitzel at the Gold Coast last year.

Hot Snitzel went on to win the Group 2 $250,000 Sires Produce (1400m) at Eagle Farm and then ran second to Benfica in the Group 1 $500,000 T J Smith (1600m) at the same track to round off a profitable Winter Carnival.

Dances On Stars is stepping out at the Gold Coast tomorrow coming off a game win in the Group 3 $125,000 Matrium Financial Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on April 14 and Ryan expects the two year old to be very competitive over the Winter.

“Hot Snitzel grew another leg when he was in Brisbane last year,” Ryan said.

“Dances On Stars is going terrific and his work up there this week has been brilliant.”

“He’s got loads of ability and a wet track won’t bother him.”

“I’m expecting him to be very competitive and if he runs well he’ll go on to the Sires’ and TJ Smith like Hot Snitzel did last year.”

The prospect of a heavy track doesn’t worry Ryan after the Snitzel colt showed he can handle the soft ground with a win in a Rosehill barrier trial on a heavy track last year.

“He won a barrier trial on a heavy track at Rosehill last year and he ran second in another trial on the heavy when he started back this campaign,” Ryan said.

“Hot Snitzel went to Queensland last year after finishing third in the Kindergarten. This horse won the Kindergarten.”

Top Sydney rider Glyn Schofield will again be on Dances On Stars who wasn’t treated too well in the barrier draw, coming up with the awkward thirteen gate.

Race favourite Sizzling, with Chris Munce aboard, didn’t fair much better and will start from gate twelve.

The Kelso Wood trained Sizzling hasn’t started since finishing fourth to Driefontein in the $1.6m Magic Millions Classic (1200m) for two year olds at the Gold Coast in January and has been posted at the head of the Ken Russell betting at $2.20.

Dances On Stars is at $4.80 with the John O’Shea trained two year old Hoss Amor the only other runner under double figures at $6.

Brenton Avdulla will stick with Hoss Amor who has had two barrier trials, a win at Randwick and a third at Warwick Farm in preparation for her return to the Gold Coast.

The General Nediym filly is a Wyong Magic Millions winner in December last year and was sent for a spell after finishing seventh to Driefontein in the Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast in January.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.