Star New Zealand three-year-old Jokerís Wild will race in Sydney after a decision by trainer Mike Moroney and connections to take on the $400,000, Group I, WFA Cathay Pacific George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
Jokerís Wild, a multiple Group I winner in New Zealand out of Moroneyís Matamata stables, ran an excellent first up race in Australia when third in the Group I Cadbury Guineas (1600m) at the VRCís meeting at Caulfield.
Australian jockey Corey Brown's knowledge of Sydney's Rosehill track and his natural left whip-hand are seen as the main reasons he has gained the mount on New Zealand colt Jokers Wild (NZ) (Black Minnaloushe x Miss Rory by Rory's Jester) in next Saturday's Gr.1 $A400,000 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
'We felt that he might be a little bit vulnerable racing right-handed and that's why we decided to try for a natural left-hander,' the three-year-old's New Zealand co-trainer Paul Moroney said.
Joker's Wild (NZ) has not raced right-handed since winning the Ford Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie just over a year ago. All told he has had three starts going that way around and also won the first of them, a listed juvenile event at Avondale.
Joker's Wild (NZ), last season's champion New Zealand two-year-old, gave Australian racegoers a glimpse of his ability when a close third behind Miss Finland (Aus) and Casino Prince (Aus) in the Cadbury Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on March 10.
The three-year-old is reported to have trained on well since and could go on to either the $A2.2million Doncaster Handicap (1600m) on April 9 or the $A400,000 All-Aged Stakes (1400m) on April 14 after Saturday's race. Both of these events are at Gr.1 level and are run on the right-handed Randwick track.