Randwick Guineas litmus test for Sinba

Gerald Ryan is using the three-year-old autumn campaign of his former galloper Harper’s Choice as a reference point for Sinba, who faces his moment of reckoning when he takes on Group 1 company in the Randwick Guineas.

The promising gelding showed he had returned in good order with a barnstorming first-up win over 1200m at Newcastle before again coming from off the speed for a comprehensive midweek victory over 1550m on the Kensington track.

He faces a stiff class rise on Saturday when he takes on the likes of Group 1 winners Anamoe and Converge in the first leg of the three-year-old triple crown, but Ryan is happy to test the waters.

The experienced horseman set Harper’s Choice a similar task five years ago and interestingly, during a similarly wet autumn.

Harper’s Choice finished sixth to Inference in the Randwick Guineas, fifth to Gingernuts in the Rosehill Guineas and runner-up to Jon Snow in the ATC Australian Derby – all on heavy tracks.

“We’ve decided to have a throw of the dice,” Ryan said.

“He’s up in grade but I’m just comparing him to Harper’s Choice.

“He came off a freshen-up and ran sixth or seventh in the (Randwick) Guineas, fifth in the Rosehill Guineas and then he ran second in the Derby.”

If Sinba can acquit himself well at Randwick, he will press on to the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on his home track.

Ryan also has the Derby back of mind, although his gut feel is Sinba’s best trip will be a middle distance.

“We will run him and see how he measures up and he might go to the Rosehill Guineas, then we will decide on the Derby,” he said.

“I’ve got my doubts about him staying the full journey but if he does, he will do it as a three-year-old. Clangalang won the Derby and he didn’t stay.”

Anamoe is the class runner in the Guineas field but while he has good form on soft tracks, he is untested on anything worse and the next two horses in the market, Converge and Bondi Stakes winner Hilal, are also unknown in extreme conditions.

The only runners proven in the ground are Royalzel and War Eternal, who have both posted heavy track wins, while Raging Bull has been placed.

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