Melbourne trainer Nick Ryan was thrilled to see heavy ground would greet his charge Dice Roll in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes.
Flemington trainer Nick Ryan’s luck is in ahead of his trip to Sydney to test Dice Roll in Saturday’s Group 1 Canterbury Stakes at Randwick.
A heavy track will greet Dice Roll on his arrival in Sydney while the import’s chances of posting a maiden Group 1 win received a boost after the scratching of star performer Zaaki from the $500,000 race.
Heavy ground would end the chances of some horses in the field but Dice Roll notched the best win of his career in such conditions in France in 2018.
Dice Roll stamped himself as one of the best French three-year-olds of his year when winning a Group 3 race by five lengths before he ran third in good ground in the French 2000 Guineas at his next start.
Yet Dice Roll has not raced on a heavy track since.
The now seven-year-old struggled on firm tracks in Hong Kong before recapturing form in Melbourne with three wins and a Group 1 placing for Ryan.
But Ryan’s luck could run out if Sydney’s wet weather forces Saturday’s meeting to be postponed.
“Hopefully, the races go ahead,” Ryan said.
“It’s great to get an opportunity to run him on a heavy track in a Group 1 race.
“We don’t know how many opportunities we’re going to have like this so we have got to take it.
“He’s a very good galloper on his day and hopefully on the heavy, we’ll see the best of him.”
Dice Roll went within a nose of a Group 1 win when second to Sierra Sue in last year’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
That impressive effort was without blinkers but Ryan has gone for the headgear for the Canterbury Stakes.
“The blinkers are to help him sharpen up back to 1300m first-up,” Ryan said.
“He trialled with them on last week and trialled super so hopefully the gear change can spark him up enough in the Group 1 on Saturday.”
Dice Roll is a $21 chance in TAB’s latest betting on the Canterbury Stakes.
The last-start Guy Walter Stakes winner Forbidden Love is the $3.10 favorite on the strength of her formidable record of three wins from four starts on heavy ground.
Melbourne-based import Lighthouse has firmed from $4.60 to $4 while the Joe Pride-trained Private Eye is a $5 chance.
Lighthouse’s chances of a maiden Group 1 improved when trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace landed top jockey James McDonald to ride the mare after Zaaki’s scratching.
Originally published as Nick Ryan gets his wish for heavy ground for Dice Roll in Group 1 Canterbury Stakes