God’s Own galloper Bel Thor has been nominated for the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill this Saturday.
Mornington trainer Wez Hunter has the option of staying home for a $100,000 Open Handicap over 1600m at Moonee Valley or rolling the dice and running on a rain-affected track for $1 million in Sydney.
Bel Thor (4g God’s Own – Bellonic by Redding) was second to Fat Al last time out on a slow track in the LR Golden Mile at Bendigo. He was also Group 3 placed in the Eclipse Stakes at Caulfield in November.
“They’re forecasting more showers up there this week,” Hunter said. “He’s disadvantaged at weight-for-age against horses like Boban but a wet track will help.”
Bel Thor has finished in the money at all seven runs on slow or heavy track, albeit against weaker horses than his Ryder rivals. “He has loads of potential. And any time there’s some sting out of the track, he can really let down.”
Another Sydney option is the G3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) on Golden Slipper day, April 5. “We’ve always had a good opinion of him,” Hunter added. “He will be a really nice horse next season – even in a race like the Caulfield Cup.”
Greta West Stud sire God’s Own has been represented by 66 winners of 96 races in Australia since August 1. His progeny have banked over $2.16 million and Bel Thor is his chief earner with prizemoney of $157,700 this season.