Stakes target looms for emerging Face

By: Mandy Cottell Saturday 23 January 2021

Gerald Ryan will weigh up his options for emerging three-year-old The Face, who has led throughout to comfortably defeat more experienced rivals at Randwick.

Runner-up in the Gosford Guineas last start, The Face ($2.30 fav) controlled Saturday's ANZ Bloodstock News Handicap (1100m) to hold Osamu ($7) at bay by 1-1/4 lengths with Emanate ($5) third.

Ryan will see how the gelding comes through the run before deciding whether to press on to the Group Three Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in two weeks

"If he does really well we might stick him up to the Eskimo Prince in a couple of weeks time. He will have a fitness edge on the horses who will be resuming in it," Ryan said.

"Or he might just have a freshen up and come back later in the carnival for a race like the Arrowfield Stakes.

"He is as effective on heavy ground as he is on good ground so he is pretty versatile."

After proving a handful to educate as a younger horse, The Face has turned the corner since he was gelded and has won two of his five starts.

Ryan revealed the three-year-old's ownership group, led by Victorian-based breeder Steve Smith, rejected substantial offers for him after his initial barrier trials.

"They were offered a stack of money for this horse off his trials but he (Smith) just won't sell. He breeds them to race and he loves his racing," Ryan said.

Trainer David Pfieffer will head to the $1 million Inglis Sprint with Rocketing By after he surged through a late opening to win the Bowermans Commercial Furniture Handicap (1100m).

"I was a little bit worried about the firmer track today but he obviously got a sweet ride and got the result," Pfieffer said.

"We're trying to head towards that Inglis race in a couple of weeks so obviously the prize money boost will be a big help for him and we might even be able to keep Hugh Bowman on board."