Gordon Lord Byron Makes History in Sydney

Irish raider Gordon Lord Byron snuck up the rail and won the George Ryder Stakes in his Australian debut March 29, becoming the first Northern Hemisphere horse to win a group I race at Rosehill Gardens. 

Jockey Craig Williams positioned the 5-year-old Byron gelding midpack in the early running after 3-year-old El Roca charged from the gate to lead. El Roca dictated the pace throughout but, spent from his pacemaking, yielded to Speediness at the 200-meter mark as Gordon Lord Byron moved to the rail. Speediness look set for victory but Gordon Lord Byron found another gear with 50 meters left and won by a short neck. El Roca held on for third in the field of 15.
  
Gordon Lord Byron finished 1,500 meters (about 7 1/2 furlongs) in 1:30.95 on turf rated slow. He is the first Northern Hemisphere horse to win a group I race in Sydney and will now be aimed for the Doncaster Mile or T.J. Smith Stakes (both Aus-I) on the first day of The Championships program April 12 at Royal Randwick. 
 
Trained by Tom Hogan for Morgan Calahan, Gordon Lord Byron's record also includes top-level wins in the 2012 Betfred Sprint Cup (Eng-I) and Prix de la Foret (Fr-I). He has an overall mark of 10-8-6 from 35 starts.
 
Roland H. Alder bred Gordon Lord Byron out of the unraced Intikhab mare Boa Estrella, a half sister to group III winner Cheyenne Star.
 
Also on the card, New Zealand-bred Criterion looks to be the early favorite for the Australian Derby (Aus-I) April 12 following his convincing victory in the Rosehill Guineas (Aus-I).
 
The son of Sebring uncoiled a strong burst of speed in the straight and won by 3 1/2 lengths from Thunder Bay, with Teronado a half-length back in third. Randwick Guineas (Aus-I) winner and favorite Dissident finished sixth. 
 
Ridden by Hugh Bowman for trainer David Payne, Criterion was timed in 2:05.94 for the 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) on turf. The victory was his first in a group I race but he has placed twice at the top level, including the Australian Guineas March 1 at Flemington. 
 
Australia group III winner Mica's Pride is the dam of Criterion, a half brother to group II winner Varenna Miss. He was bred by Go Bloodstock New Zealand and has a 4-3-1 record from 15 starts.
 
The whole complexion of the Galaxy Stakes (Aus-I) changed as gates flew open and race favorite Rain Affair and Bel Sprinter were slow to start, both losing all hope in the 1,100-meter (about 5 1/2-furlong) dash. 
 
In the straight Tiger Tees got the upper hand, winning by a short neck as he was nearly run down by 3-year-old filly Anatina. Villa Verde, the 6-1 favorite, was 1 1/2 lengths back in third in the 13-horse field. 
 
Tiger Tees, a 6-year-old Dubawi gelding trained by Joseph Pride, finished in 1:05.02. A two-time group III winner and half brother to Singapore champion Super Easy, he posted a breakthrough group I victory under Nash Rawiller. He is out of the winning Gold Brose mare Parfore.
 

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