Ryan Balfour sets sights on Christmas Stakes

A reshaping of the summer sprints in Melbourne forced Adelaide trainer Ryan Balfour into a change of plans with his emerging sprinter Outlaws Revenge.

After Outlaws Revenge won the Listed City Of Marion Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville in late November, Balfour was eyeing off the Group 3 Standish Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.

Originally that race was going to be on New Year’s Day, but a new Summer Sprint Series was introduced, and the Standish was pushed back to January 15.

Needing another run between the Listed Christmas Handicap (1200m) at Morphettville on December 11 and the Standish, Balfour decided on the Listed Christmas Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Sunday.

“I know this is back to 1100 metres, but we are going to the Standish, and it would have been a fair gap between runs,” Balfour said.

“We came up late in the spring and that’s because we went late into the autumn and with his rating we didn’t see the need to throw him in the deep-end early, so we just trained him for where he was at.

“He’s only had three runs back. He can have one or two more, but we’ll be guided by him.”

Balfour has not ruled out anything for Outlaws Revenge, although the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville in May is a race he would dearly love to win.

Success on Saturday would give Outlaws Revenge a ballot exemption into the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in February while victory in the Standish provides the winner a start in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in March.

“Locally The Goodwood is the standout race for him but at the same time there’s exciting options interstate that are not being ruled out at the same time,” Balfour said.

“He’s an exciting horse and he’s still progressive, but it’s great to be able to have these conversations and ideas.”

Regular ride Dom Tourneur makes the trip over from Adelaide to partner Outlaws Revenge and stablemate Picargo who runs in the Dennis Hanrahan Handicap (1400m).

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