Gerald Ryan saddled talented fillies Peggy Jean and Lucky Raquie to notable success over the 2014 Australian racing calendar and is confident both will produce competitive performances in Saturday’s Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm.
Securing one win and one minor place finish over her eight competitive starts so far, Lucky Raquie beat a talented field to the line in the Listed Black Opal Stakes (1200m) most notably on March 9th; progressing to fifth in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) less-than a fortnight later.
While unable to make an impact when failing to beat runner home in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) first-up on February 14th, Ryan has been thrilled with the condition of the Encosta De Lago filly and is expecting for her to have taken priceless condition from the competitive hit-out.
“She just has me scratching my head,” Ryan told Sky Racing HQ of the first-up performance.
“I was really happy with her going into the Caulfield and through the race I was really happy with her and I was expecting her to blow out a little bit, but not as soon as she did.
“With 200 metres out it looked like she was going to be top four, but she was weak late.
“She has been working with blinkers since she has been back and her work has been quite strong.
“She will be a lot keener with them and she has always had the ability to win a race like that.”
Unable to make much of an impact over spring, Peggy Jean undoubtedly found career-best form over the Autumn Carnival; highlighted by a close second in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) and victory in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Having returned for a competitive fourth in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago, Ryan believes the conditions of the 2015 Surround Stakes and return to 1400m will play into the strengths of the Myboycharlie filly.
“Peggy Jean is going really well and I am really happy with her,” he added.
“She didn’t come up in the spring and we stopped pretty quickly with her and she had seven weeks off and she grew and strengthened and she has maintained that weight and held her condition.
“She has a really great colour about her and her work is good and fitness levels have improved.
“It is hard to line up how that days racings form is going to stack up because some horses got to the right lane, but in saying that she is going well and she has won a Group 1 at 1400.
“She will probably be giving them a start, but she will hit the line well.”
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Surround Stakes odds, for which Peggy Jean can be taken at generous $9 odds while Lucky Raquie arguably offers punters the best value for money at long $67 for success.
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