Speed key to Peggy Jean in 2014 Tea Rose Stakes

By Tom Walter

The Randwick 1400 metre trip is familiar territory for Peggy Jean however trainer Gerald Ryan is concerned about a possible lack of speed in Saturday’s Group II Tea Rose Stakes.

Peggy Jean displayed an affiliation with Randwick during her two-year-old season, winning the Inglis Classic (1200m) before prevailing in the Group I Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

After a satisfactory performance first-up on a heavy track in the Group II Furious Stakes (1200m) behind Winx, Ryan expects his filly to improve back on a firmer surface.

“Her work’s improved and she’s improved in the feed bin like she did last time when she got racing,” Ryan said.

“The only thing that worries me on Saturday is what looks to be a lack of speed in the race.

“Getting back on to firmer ground is going to be interesting.

“She’ll be ridden quietly and given the chance to hit the line.”

While Ryan attempts to assess the probable tempo of Saturday’s race, he also has to decide on what path Peggy Jean takes deeper into the spring.

Ryan concedes that 1600 metres may be the limit of his filly’s distance range but will be guided by her performance on Saturday.

“Saturday will tell us whether we go further or revert back to the shorter races,” he said. “But I reckon she’ll improve from racing.

“If she’s strong at the end of Saturday’s race she’ll go to the Flight Stakes.”

Peggy Jean
will jump from barrier 7 in a field eight on Saturday with senior jockey Jim Cassidy in the saddle.