Two weeks after handing over the head trainer job at Godolphin to John O’Shea last year, Peter Snowden saw Seaside, who he had prepared for entire career, claim her first Stakes race the Listed Dark Jewel Stakes at Scone. Snowden, now training in partnership with his son Paul, is back to rightfully claim the 2015 edition of the race with leading hope Rose Of Choice ($4.60) The former Perth galloper will tackle this race first up from a spell but in each of her recent three trials, has looked ready to produce a big run fresh, and it will have to be as she meets a competitive field of mares. Among them are NZ G1 winner Diademe ($6.50), Calming Influence ($4.60) and My Sabeel ($8.00).
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1. DIADEME – B Shinn (8)
Crossed the Tasman for the G1 Queen Of The Turf with strong New Zealand credentials behind her, having won two of her last three starts there including the G1 Thoroughbred Breeders (1600m). She drew the ‘visitor’s gate’ in the QOTT, the widest gate in a field of fifteen, but pushed forward to settle just off the leader and eventual winner Amanpour. Wide gate, soft track, it wasn’t a bad effort overall to finish eighth (5.4 length) and back on a firmer surface here in lesser grade, she comes right into the mix.
2. FINE BUBBLES – C Reith (2)
She has improved with each of her three runs back this campaign, the most recent of them being a third to Avoid Lightning in the G2 Sapphire Stakes at Randwick the week after Easter. The Kris Lees trained galloper closed well from the second half of the field in a leader dominated race last time out and has been kept fresh since, topped off for this with a winning trial last week at Wyong. Needs a touch of luck from an inside gate but has the right form on the board for this.
3. BOUND FOR EARTH – B Avdulla (12)
Secured a nice run and chased strongly first up when fourth (2.6 lengths) to Shamalia in the G3 Birthday Card Stakes before finishing seventh (2.9 lengths) in the G2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m). Doesn’t produce her best on soft ground, which her last start was conducted on, but has been a while now since her last win and in these races recently, has been finding at least one or two too good on the day. From an awkward draw, that may be the case again on Saturday.
4. CALMING INFLUENCE – J Bowman (11)
As per normal, the Commands 4yo led the field last week in the G3 Darley Crown (1300m) and stuck on well to run third (1.2 lengths) behind Solicit and Peace Force. The first time in five starts she’s placed in Stakes company. That was her first run since mid-February so would expect her to be better for it and to appreciate firmer footing underneath. She is on the quick back-up though; always some concern, and will have some smart mares charging at her late.
5. ROSE OF CHOICE – (6)
Comes into this race first up form a twenty week spell but the former Western Australian galloper, who had her first preparation for the Snowden Racing team over the summer, has been given three trials in readiness for this event and looked very smart in each of them. Competed very well in similar graded races last prep, finishing close up behind the likes of Avoid Lightning and Politeness. Drawn to get the perfect run and rates on top.
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6. SCORPIO QUEEN – R Thompson (1)
Good second up from a spell when second (1 length) to Laser Hawk in the G3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap but the 6yo mare, who is looking for her first win since December 2013, has been well accounted for in two runs since. Never improved from last position in the G2 Emancipation Stakes behind Catkins and only made marginal ground late on the heavy track at Hawkesbury in a BM 85 won by Oxford Poet. At her best, she’d be a chance but can mix her form up and is hard to take with any degree of confidence.
7. MY SABEEL – T Clark (5)
She was solid late behind Griante and I Love It – both good since, in the G3 Wenona Girl three starts back and fair again at her following start when seventh (3.6 lengths) in Catkins’ G2 Emancipation Stakes. More was expected of her though in last week’s G3 Darley Crown where she failed to improve her position on the turn and finished last of nine (3.6 lengths) behind Solicit. Didn’t appear to be any genuine excuses last week and has a bit to turn around in the space of a week.
8. MAMWAAZEL – G Schofield (13)
Had little luck in the straight when resuming in a BM 85 (1200m) behind Dublin Lass, who has since finished second to I’ve Got The Looks at Listed level, before taking up a forward position last week I the G3 Darley Crown from a wide gate, and sticking on well to finish sixth (1.9 lengths). It will be interesting to see if they push forward again here from gate thirteen, but either way, the 4yo mare is going well and will be competitive.
9. DIVERTIRE – (7)
Surprise winner first up last February, at 30/1, in Restricted race at Rosehill over 1200m before being caught flat-footed second up over 1500m and finishing seventh (6.9 lengths) to Himalayan Dream.
A much better at her next and most recent start when third of six (2 lengths) to Silverball in a BM 80 (1600m), with the form out of that racing excellent. Freshened-up since that run seven weeks ago but has been kept up to the mark by Joe Pride with a barrier trail earlier this week. Only second attempt in a Group race but has enough in her form to treat her cautiously.
10. REFER – S Clipperton (4)
Came from an improbable position two starts back at Caulfield with a big run to score an Open class fillies and mares race over 1400m, defeating Bippo No Bungus and Nadeem Lass. The Fastnet Rock filly, who has won three of her nineteen starts, wasn’t effective on the softer track at her following start though, finishing eleventh (7.1 lengths) to Chiquada in a BM 84. Drops back 4.5kgs on that effort, a good draw and firmer surface, are all factors in her favour but her strike rate at his level suggests she’s just a length or two off them.
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11. VERGARA – T Berry (10)
Unwanted first up with 61kgs on a heavy track in BM 70 (1200m) at Warwick Farm but the Anthony Cummings trained galloper won like an odds-on shot, scooting through the conditions to win by 4.5 lengths. Her only run since was in last week’s G3 Darley Crown where she found a nice spot in transit and it was only the last 100m she wilted, finishing fifth (1.5 lengths) to Solicit. That was her first run in a month so she’ll take benefit from it and has obviously come back into work in solid form.
12. ALL CERISE – J Collett (3)
She was ok late first up behind Mahican in a BM 80 (1350m) before again settling well back in the run in a BM 85 (1400m) at her following start, and again finishing fairly for seventh (3.5 lengths) behind Medcaut. Better suited back to her own sex and should enjoy the tempo and big track here given her racing pattern but her strike is poor, two from sixteen, and would need to produce a career best to be winning here.
13. I’M IN THE MONEY – (9)
A country galloper that is finding it hard to win races of much easier quality than this one at present and hard to make a genuine case for here against this opposition.
14. SHANINA – (14)
Closed well from worse than midfield to run second (1.8 length) to Got The Goss during the recent Wagga carnival before finding that same horse, at the same track, too strong again tenth (2.2 lengths). Will be giving much better opposition a start as they turn for home from her widest draw and cannot see how from there, she runs them down.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Vergara and Calming Influence show the way with Rose Of Choice camped on their hammer. After her first trial win she was marked as one to follow upon her return and her two trials since have only enhance that line of thought. Fine Bubbles is building nicely and found her best form well into her last campaign when over some ground. She’s great each way value at $8.50/$2.70. Others attracting attention at a price are Mamwaazel ($13.00) and Divertire ($21.00) who will both finish strongly.
1. ROSE OF CHOICE
2. FINE BUBBLES