Snowdens toast Champagne training masterstroke
This must go in as one of the training championship feats of the year – captivant pulled out of a spelling paddock for a Group 1 success at Royal Randwick.
Peter Snowden, who trains with son Paul, revealed the unlikely backstory to Captivant’s thrilling win at the $ 500,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes.
Snowden had sent captivant for a short break to aim the colt at the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
But when news leaked last Saturday that Anamoe, who had beaten the Inglis Sires captivant so comprehensively during the championship two weeks ago, was not going to run in the Champagne Stakes, Snowden quickly got her colt out of the Spelling paddock.
“When we were convincingly beaten by the Sires, we thought we might not be able to beat the Godolphin horse (Anamoe) in Champagne and regroup and go to Brisbane,” said Snowden.
“Then the mail came that he (Anamoe) wouldn’t be here, so it was a quick change of plans.
“But the refreshment for a few days in the paddock was good for him. It was the best he was ever back, and really good on the assembly area and on a good track again.
“There were a few things on his schedule today and he’s really happy with the result we got.”
Peter Snowden got the captivant out of the Spelling paddock in time for the Champagne Stakes. Image: Getty Images
The two star colts who fought for the smaller placements in the Sires were back in the Champagne Stakes, but this time Captivant ($ 4.80) finished ahead of arch-rival Hilal ($ 4.20 favorite) with a neck with a converge ($ 5.50) 1 – Half a length away third.
Captivant awarded Stable Snowden its fifth champagne stake, having previously won the classic with King’s Legacy (2020), Guelph (2013), Helmet (2011) and Skilled (2010).
“Great win and it was a magical drive from James (McDonald),” said Snowden.
“I know we had a good goal, but he made all the right moves, gave the horse the calm it needed and waited as long as it could to regain its balance.
“He gave it a squeeze when he got to the corner, he took it off for him so he knew he had something there. He gave him a little break, then asked him for something over the last 300 meters and he was really good. “
McDonald admitted that “barriers win races” but had a strange take on Team Snowden’s training coup.
“He was prepared to come here today with a grand finale, even though he had a little spell in the paddock. Maybe Peter needs to start training all of his horses like this, ” said McDonald.
Captivant wins Group 1 champagne stakes! @mcacajamez produced a 🍑. @ BlueBetAupic.twitter.com / mKnRIJmA8c
– 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@ 7horseracing) April 24, 2021
Captivant also gave his first Group 1 winner to booming first season sire Capitalist.
Team Snowden also trained Capitalist, the winner of the 2016 Golden Slipper, and with particular pleasure prepared the young stallion’s first Group 1 winner.
“It’s really special and Capitalist has had an incredible year,” said Snowden.
“To think that so many horses have reached the highest level and that he had three runners in the Golden Slipper.
“They win everywhere so he did a great job in the first 12 months his horses were on the track.
“I am glad that it was me that I got a Group 1 winner with his first harvest. This victory means a lot to me and the family.
“Capitalist has been a great horse for us and to see his horses go to races and win the way they are and run the way they are makes us very proud.”
Jockey Tommy Berry offered no excuses for Hilal’s narrow defeat.
“Hilal was brilliant,” said Berry.
“The winner just had a glamorous run.”
Hall Mark Stakes: Splintex win brings back memories
Splintex, the current tip on the eve of Anzac Day, was duly welcomed at Royal Randwick.
Vietnam veteran Geoff Grimish names most of his racehorses a military theme to honor the men and women he has fought alongside and service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in the war.
During the Vietnam War, Grimish fought in the Battle of Coral, one of the most significant battles of the Australian Army during that conflict, in which 25 Australian soldiers were killed. It is estimated that nearly 300 North Vietnamese soldiers were killed.
During this battle, Splittex shrapnel grenades were used for the only time by Australians in conflict.
“We were heavily outnumbered in this battle, but I’m sure they helped us defeat the enemy,” said Grimish, who will be taking part in Sydney’s Anzac Day march this morning.
To this day, Grimish carries a Splintex shell in a plastic bag in his wallet and produced it after his Sprinter Splintex won the Group 3 $ 160,000 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m).
Splintex ($ 4.50 favorite) held out to a tough half-length win over Ranier ($ 17), while Victorem ($ 12) had a similar lead in third place.
“It’s really good to get a win today, especially for Geoff and Mary Grimish. Anzac Day means a lot to Geoff and on the eve of Anzac Day it’s a really important win for him, ”said coach Mark Newnham.
Splintex wins for Josh Parr in Randwick. Image: Getty Images
Splintex also brought Newnham a change of luck after an autumn carnival with near misses at the feature race level.
“I rode him at his last canter, which was last Saturday morning when we got the right canter here, and I thought this morning I wish it was as smooth as it was last week,” Newnham said.
“But he got the job done quickly. He’s only done a few races that he wasn’t very lucky or they were at Group 1 level and he was just a little short.
“But his two runs were good enough this time. He wasn’t very lucky at first and then he moved the outside in the Galaxy and 1100 in Rosehill.
Newnham said Splintex will likely target the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup at Doomben next month.
“He’s settled in better now in his races and I’m sure he can run 1350 meters around Doomben,” he said.