Leading Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan has three Saturday runners (Spill The Beans & Dances On Stars at Eagle Farm, and Argie Bargie at Kembla Grange) capable of delivering his 100th win with the progeny of his former stable star Snitzel.
It’s a big milestone for Gerald, who has trained plenty of notable winners by other stallions (including Group 1 winners Melito, Mrs Onassis & Peggy Jean), but is widely known as Mr Snitzel, thanks to his 43 winners of 99 races and $8.3 million prizemoney by the sensational son of Redoute’s Choice.
Nine of those winners are among Snitzel’s 38 stakeswinners and all of them, except Dances On Stars & Fireworks, were bred & sold by Arrowfield:
- Snitzerland (VRC Lightning S. G1) for Neil Werrett & Steve McCann
- Darby Racing’s dual Group 2 winner Time For War
- Triple Crown Syndications’ Group 2 winners Flying Snitzel & Hot Snitzel (who later won the BTC Cup G1 for Peter & Paul Snowden)
- Perignon (ATC Light Fingers S. G2) for Camilla Flower & Sylvana Surace
- Group 3 winner Dances On Stars for Brian Mullins, Donna Keegan and Anne & Richard Glenister
- Fairway Thoroughbreds’ home-bred 2YO stakeswinner Fireworks
- Arrowfield’s dual Group 3-winning colt Spill The Beans
- and Listed winner Ygritte for Carl Holt.
Gerald and owner Damion Flower bought Snitzel himself for $260,000 from Yarraman Park Stud & breeder Francois Naude at the 2004 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Gerald then prepared Snitzel throughout his 15-start, seven-win, $1 million career, including the 2006 MRC Oakleigh Plate G1, beating Virage de Fortune & Takeover Target.
He says, “Damion and I said before we bought him as a yearling, if this horse can gallop he will make a stallion, so to see what he’s doing is very pleasing. I’m very proud of him.”
Gerald nominates toughness, durability and speed as Snitzel’s best racing qualities. In fact, he was so sound and healthy when he retired that his vet record was almost blank.
“He doesn’t stamp his progeny as types, but most of them are really athletic and, like him, they don’t go shinsore. They have pretty good temperaments too, and if they’re feisty, they improve with each prep.
“I train the Snitzels similar to how I trained him. When he galloped, he went fast, but I kept him sharp.”
Group 1 winner Snitzerland is an easy choice for the best Snitzel progeny Gerald has trained, but he has several favourites.
“Snitzerland went through from her breaker’s prep to run second at her first start in a Listed Race on Melbourne Cup Day. She was so tough, and always did everything you wanted her to do.
“I also have a soft spot for Intertidal, Snitzel’s first winner. I raced and trained his mum Miss Rainmaker, as well as her sire Hurricane Sky.”
Second-crop filly Schiffer was special too. “She was so tough and so arrogant. I bought her So You Think daughter last year and she’s the same.” Yet to race, the 2YO filly is named Schifty Thinker.
“And my staff cried when Hot Snitzel left the stable!”
Gerald has bought and advised on the purchase of Snitzel’s yearlings since the first crop went through the ring in 2009, and this year he joined Damion Flower’s Jadeskye Racing to buy the $1.6 million Magic Millions Sale-topping colt out of Mirror Mirror. However, his stable of Snitzels continues to draw from various sources, at a range of prices.
2YO colt Sahara Emaar (ex Lady of the Desert by Desert Prince) was a $50,000 David Raphael buy from Milburn Creek’s Inglis Melbourne Premier draft. “A nice, big colt”, he was a good third to Prized Icon and Attention in his first trial and returned to work this week.
Another 2YO, Corumbene Stud’s home-bred filly Samantha (ex Icedginger by Tale Of The Cat) trials next week. Gerald says, “Based on what she’s shown me, she could be my best filly since Snitzerland.”
As for the 2016 yearlings, the Mirror Mirror and Maid For Me colts, and the Perfect Truth filly have all “broken in sensationally.”
The odds on Gerald Ryan’s second Snitzel century are already shortening.
Grateful acknowledgement to Racing & Sports: www.racingandsports.com.au for the data on Gerald Ryan’s record with Snitzel’s progeny.