Snitzel king produces a budding star in Menari
GERALD Ryan is known in most circles as ‘ Mr Snitzel’ and it’s no surprise why.
The Rosehill trainer not only guided the Group 1 winning sprinter to racetrack glory over a decade ago he’s had a big say in the stallion’s success at stud.
Ryan has to date trained 53 individual winners ( from 88 runners) by Snitzel to a total of 121 wins, earning prizemoney of $10,327,990.
How Ryan came to train Snitzel in the first place was one of those chance occurrences as owner Damion Flower looked to parlay the good fortune the pair had with AJC Derby winner Clangalang.
“We picked out three colts we liked and they turned out to be Gonski, Stratum and Snitzel,” Ryan said.
“Because of his pedigree, we thought prior to buying (Snitzel) if he could gallop he’d make a stallion.
“To get to the heights he’s got to you couldn’t predict but he was getting better as he got older.”
Snitzel was Australia’s champion sire of 2016/17 in what was an amazing season for the Arrowfield resident.
He equalled Danehill’s single season record of 26 stakeswinners, set a new Australian prizemoney ($16.1m), was the first to sire a Group 1 two-year-old trifecta since 1982 and produced record number of two-year-old winners with 35.
Ryan heads to Rosehill tomorrow hoping Snitzel colt Menari can begin deliver on the promise he showed at two when he resumes in the Listed $150,000 Smithfield RSL Rosebud (1100m).
Menari carried a fair bit of hype into the autumn but fell victim to wet tracks and didn’t perform level Ryan knows he’s capable.
“We couldn’t get a real line on him because he had two starts on dry tracks and won then ran an unlucky second to Pariah and his next three were on heavy tracks,” Ryan said.
“He wasn’t hopeless in it but he at his best.
has to stand up as a spring three-year-old and fulfil his potential.”
Menari is an imposing creature.
The colt 16.2 hands and weighs in around 572kg so no wonder he finds it hard to pick up heavy ground.
Ryan has been more than happy with the way Menari has gone about his business this preparation.
Two trials have him in fine shape fitness wise and he will have no excuses when it comes to the track condition. Ryan expects not need too many.
“His size is a minus on heavy track but he has his own strength and that’s a plus,” Ryan said.
“He appears to have come up well, he’s a lot more relaxed. He’s not aggressive at all and is quite good around the place.
“If you want him to work super he will and if you don’t then he won’t.
“His trials were solid without being over the top, he travelled well, he didn’t need to be bottomed out.” W hile Menari is nominated for the Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas, it’s Coolmore Stud Stakes that Ryan feels the colt will be best suited to.
But he’s likely to head to the San Domenico (1100m) on August 26 before he’s pointed in any particular direction.
Menari is the headline act among Ryan’s quartet engaged at Rosehill but he also has spring ambitions for Washington Heights with an Epsom a possible target.
The six-year-old made an impressive return from a year off the scene and a preparation in Hong Kong winning first-up at Rosehill a month ago.
Ryan said Washington Heights has appreciated the break between runs and Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Spring Preview (1400m) will shape his spring.
“I gave him an easy trial on the course proper and I think we will get idea where we are heading with him,” he said.
“Distance wise we won’t be going further than 1600m with him, even though he’s a halfbrother to the Grafton Cup winner.
“I’d like see if we can go deep into the spring with him, he’s been in work a long time but I reckon he’s horse that will appreciate races three weeks apart.
“He could be aimed at an Epsom but we’ll see how he goes on Saturday.”
The Pharoah, another of the Snitzel stock, appears close to a win and Ryan is adamant the best is still ahead of the four-year-old.
After chasing Arbeitsam home two weeks ago, he has another chance to break through in the St Johns Bowling Club Handicap (1350m).
“Arbeitsam was too fast, too strong and too solid for us,” Ryan said.
“I was tossing up stretching him to 1500m because I think he needs a touch further but I thought we’d give him another go at 1350m.”
Ryan warned not to overlook Mariquita in the Clubs NSW Handicap (1400m) believing she’s also close to a win despite having an interrupted preparation.
She dropped in distance and produced a strong late burst to run third at Warwick Farm on August 2 and Ryan said with a soft barrier if she gets the breaks she can take holding out. “It was going to be a month between runs and because she’s a gross doer it would be too long for her so I thought it would be a greater benefit running in a race,” he said.
“She couldn’t keep up but she finished off, she can run pretty good sectionals when she gets a race run to suit.”
Menari kicks off his spring campaign at Rosehill tomorrow and trainer Gerald Ryan with Snitzel (inset)