ILLAWARRA MERCURY KEITH NOLAN CLASSIC
Her nomination set hearts racing, but Gerald Ryan has poured cold water on Flying Snitzel headlining the Illawarra Mercury Keith Nolan Classic (1600 metres) on Sunday.
So impressive in demolishing her Kewney Stakes rivals in the three-year-old fillies' feature at Flemington almost a fortnight ago, Flying Snitzel was allocated 57-kilogram topweight for Kembla Grange's richest race.
But Ryan told the Mercury he would instead opt to run Flying Snitzel against the older mares in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
"It's a Group 1 over 1500m worth $600,000 on her home track - you don't get many of them," Ryan said. "She's come through [the Kewney Stakes] very well."
Flying Snitzel also holds a nomination for the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) on the same day, a race restricted for three-year-olds.
Ryan admitted progressive stayer Taya, the second of his Keith Nolan entries, was also an unlikely starter at Kembla.
There were 22 nominations for the Keith Nolan Classic yesterday, up from the meagre 12 last year. It eventually resulted in the smallest field (nine) facing the starter in the 14-year history of the race.
Flying Snitzel's absence will leave Group 1 runner-up Longport a clear topweight in the Keith Nolan - if the Patinack-owned filly is an acceptor.
She was also slugged with 57 kilograms for the race, but is entered for the Coolmore Classic and Phar Lap Stakes.
Stablemate Transonic, lingering in the Phar Lap Stakes nominations, is one of 20 Keith Nolan hopefuls asked to carry the limit weight of 54 kilograms.
Australian Guineas runner-up You're So Good is another whose immediate racing future remains clouded, with Victorian trainer Nigel Blackiston weighing up whether to start his filly at Moonee Valley on Friday night or head to Kembla.
There was better news for Illawarra Turf Club officials from Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer, who confirmed Australian Oaks hopeful Campania would shun Rosehill to be kept against her own sex at Kembla.
"There's probably not much difference I suppose except for the fact they're three-year-old fillies," Frazer said when quizzed about a Phar Lap Stakes or Keith Nolan start.
"I'd say I'm fairly well certain I'll go to Kembla and I think she's going to be a 2000-metres horse [in time]."
Campania has won twice at metropolitan level this season and worked home strongly behind Dear Demi in the Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm after a short let-up.
"She's only had one run back from a let-up and there was nothing wrong with the run," Frazer said. "It was only 1400 [metres] and she was back last and made up ground. I didn't expect too much more."
KEITH NOLAN CLASSIC NOMINATIONS
Cameo, Campania, Chez Harmony, Coyote Miss, Flying Snitzel, Gold Epona, Hoybell, Impetuous, Longport, Queenstown, Royal Descent, Sail, She’s A Girl, She’s Saintly, Strategic Flight, Taya, Tigress Baby, Torio’s Pride, Transonic, Unimpeachable, You’re So Good (NZ), Zuzichka (NZ).