The 2024 George Ryder Stakes is one of five Group 1 races that will be contested at Saturday’s Golden Slipper Stakes Day meeting at Rosehill.   

The honour roll is a who’s who of Australian Racing.  

At the top of the list is champion mare Winx who won this race four years in a row between 2016 and 2019 while Lonhro won back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004.  

Anamoe overcame a wide barrier with sheer determination and toughness to claim his ninth Group 1 title when he won last year’s race as a $1.80 favourite. 

Unlike last year, there is no clear standout in this year’s edition of the $1,000,000 feature.  

So, who will win?  

We’ll try to answer that question in our comprehensive analysis of every runner in the 2024 George Ryder Stakes below. (Prices current at time of writing) 

1. Think About It (17)   

Price: $4.20

The Joe Pride-trained son of So You Think is the favourite for this year’s George Ryder Stakes but it won’t be easy for him starting from barrier 17. 

The five-year-old gelding has been a marvel for the stable winning 11 of 14 career starts including last year’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap and The Everest

He returned from a 17-week spell in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes last start and was enormous, fighting on after a tough run to finish second to Lady Laguna by 1.3 lengths.  

This is the first time he has raced over 1500m, so this is an important run for him given connections have Doncaster Mile aspirations for him and will need to see if he can handle it. 

Unfortunately, he has had a setback this week with an elevated white blood cell count so there is a real danger of him not taking his place in Saturday’s field but if he does, punters should take that into consideration particularly given he looks to endure a torrid run. 

2. Cepheus (14)    

Price: $151.00

The veteran galloper loves Rosehill having won all three of his races here including two over this distance. 

Unfortunately, that’s where the positives end for the Matt Dunn-trained Sea The Stars gelding. 

This looks to be too rich for him particularly when he finished nine-lengths last in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup first-up.  

3. Pericles (15)   

Price: $12.00

While he is not the same calibre of horse as Anamoe, the son of Street Boss is James Cummings’ leading chance to win back-to-back George Ryder Stakes.  

The Godolphin-owned four-year-old enters this race in peak condition following three runs this preparation which is an advantage over most of his rivals.  

Two starts back he showed plenty of fight to finish 1.5 lengths second to Mr Brightside in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes before finishing a luckless fourth in the Canterbury Stakes last start. 

He’ll appreciate the return to Rosehill where he finished a head second in the Golden Eagle the last time he competed over this course and distance. 

With an ounce of luck from the wide gate, he’ll be fighting out the finish. 

4. Kovalica (19) 

Price: $18.00

The Chris Waller-trained Ocean Park gelding was very good when running on from the back to finish fourth in the Liverpool City Cup first-up.  

He’ll have come on since that run and boasts an excellent second-up record which includes a win in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas last year. 

Unfortunately, the Group 1 Queensland Derby winner has drawn barrier 19 of 19 which makes his job considerably harder. 

Waller will most likely just want to see him finding the line strongly in preparation for races later in the preparation such as the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

5. Golden Mile (5)   

Price: $31.00

The second of James Cummings’ runners would need a serious form reversal to play a part here. 

During the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, he won the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes and finished third in both the Group 1 Epsom Handicap and Golden Eagle but he just hasn’t come up this time in with disappointing efforts in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes and Liverpool City Cups. 

A recent trial showed glimpses of improvement, but this looks beyond him. 

6. Navajo Peak (10)   

Price: $101.00

The John Thompson-trained gelding defied market expectations when running a bold race for fourth in the Apollo Stakes first-up. 

However, he was outclassed at his next start when finishing second last in the Group 1 Verry Elleegant Stakes last start. 

While he did beat Think It Over in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes last year, he again looks to be out of his depth. 

7. Unspoken (1)     

Price: $34.00

Peter and Paul Snowden had their five-year-old gelding in sensational form last preparation, winning all four of his races.  

Two of those wins came when first-up over this course and distance and last start in the Five Diamonds

He resumed recently in the Group 3 Newcastle Stakes and disappointed when weakening in the run home. 

This is his toughest assignment to date and it’s unlikely that he can rise to the occasion. 

8. Bandersnatch (11)   

Price: $201.00

The Team Hawkes-trained son of Casino Prince won the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude over this course and distance almost a year ago. 

That was his last win and since then he has failed to aim up in weight-for-age races so this looks out of the rank outsider’s reach. 

9. Loch Eagle (9)   

Price: $61.00

He came of age last preparation when finishing second in The Gong on a heavy surface before winning the Group 2 Ingham. 

The Kris Lees-trained gelding resumed recently in the Newcastle Stakes and looked in need of the run so he will strip fitter second-up. 

He is yet to win in three starts at Rosehill and isn’t well weighted under the conditions of the race so he is likely up against it. 

10. Mighty Ulysses (3)   

Price: $23.00

The five-year-old gelding is an import having his first start in Australia for Annabel Neasham. 

His UK form is quite good, boasting four wins from 10 starts including two at black-type level. 

He’s had two trials leading into this where he wasn’t asked for an effort, but I suspect this race will be used as a stepping stone towards races deeper into the carnival. 

11. New Energy (16)    

Price: $18.00

The Ciaron Maher-trained five-year-old gelding caught the eye in his Australian debut in the Liverpool City Cup. 

He was first-up off a 40-week break and without a public trial but still rocketed home from the back to finish a length second. 

The rise to 1500m looks ideal second-up but he seems to have struggled turning good runs into wins with just one victory and 6 placings to his credit from 12 starts. 

Unfortunately, the wide draw is not helpful, but he looks like one of the more interesting runners going forward. 

12. Amendable (4)  

Price: $15.00

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained son of Lonhro had punters reeling when he was beaten by a neck as a short-priced favourite first-up in the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue Stakes. 

He’s drawn well and while he is poorly weighted under the conditions of the race, he did clock the quickest final sectionals of the meeting when finishing 1.2 lengths fifth to Mr Brightside in the Group 1 WFA Memsie Stakes.  

The downside is that he has only won twice in 12 starts so I need to see him deliver at this level before considering him a winning chance. 

13. Williamsburg (13)    

Price: $201.00

The Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou-trained son of Snitzel hasn’t won for 76 weeks and it’s very hard to see him breaking through here given he was well beaten first-up in the Newcastle Stakes.  

14. Cosmic Vega (18)    

Price: $41.00

An import resuming and having his first start in Australia for Ciaron Maher. 

The six-year-old gelding brings solid form from the UK, but it doesn’t jump off the page.  

He hasn’t been seen publicly at the trials and his price has gotten out at each call, so I’m prepared to let him go around without me.  

15. Lady Laguna (12)    

Price: $11.00

The four-year-old mare is racing in the form of her life. 

The Annabel Neasham-trained daughter of Overshare has won four of her six starts this preparation including the Canterbury Stakes last start when causing a boil over to win her first Group 1 title. 

She started $11 that day, the same price she is here which is deeply enticing given she is flat out low flying. 

This will be her first attempt at 1500m so there is a question mark there but given how strongly she ran on to win last start, you’d have to think she is more than capable of handling it. 

It’s hard to knock a horse that is racing in such a purple patch of form. 

16. Militarize (7)  

Price: $5.00

The pick of the three-year-olds in this year’s George Ryder Stakes. 

Chris Waller has an assembly line of quality horses, and this guy is certainly one of them with Group 1 wins last year in the Sires Produce Stakes, Champagne Stakes and the Golden Rose Stakes

He has come back this preparation in good form, running a bold race first-up to finish second to Fangirl in the Apollo Stakes before duking it out with Celestial Legend when a nose second in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas last start. 

He’ll strip fitter third-up and looks a definite winning chance. 

17. Veight (8) 

Price: $10.00

The McEvoys bring their three-year-old colt to Sydney for the second time on the back of an excellent second in the Group 1 Australian Guineas

While he gave a big sight, he just didn’t see the 1600m out so the drop back to 1500m looks ideal. 

The son of Grunt has competed well in weight-for-age races this preparation, winning the Group 2 Australia Stakes first-up before finishing 1.25 lengths fourth to Mr Brightside in the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes

He maps to get a nice run and is a backable price. 

18. Encap (2)

Price: $8.50

Encap brings similar form lines to the George Ryder Stakes as Militarize. 

The Gary Portelli-trained three-year-old gelding was held up badly in the Randwick Guineas last start and went to the line largely untested to finish fifth by 1.1 lengths. 

The start prior he fought bravely despite a wide run to finish two-lengths behind Celestial Legend in the Hobartville Stakes

Bad luck seems to be a regular occurrence for him so barrier 2 could pose problems if he gets stuck in the pack.  

He can run a bold race, but he appears under the odds. 

19. Tiz Invincible (6)

Price: $27.00

The I Am Invincible filly has not lived up to expectations this preparation after winning three races including the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes when last in work. 

She won her only previous start at the track and will strip fitter third-up but the Ciaron Maher-trained three-year-old will need to improve a lot on her first two runs this preparation to be a factor here. 

The Judgement

Lady Laguna is the definition of a mare in form so I’m sticking solid with her.  

She is low flying and, in my mind, went to another level last start in the Canterbury Stakes when emphatically winning her first Group 1 title. 

She is yet to tick off the distance box but given the way she ran through the line over 1300m, I don’t believe it will be a problem plus she loves this track. 

At the each way quote Ladbrokes is currently offering, I’m happy to side with her. 

Selections: 1st – Lady Laguna, 2nd – Militarize, 3rd – New Energy, 4th – Veight