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Miss Sure Shot fires home another win at Kembla

Talented mare MISS SURE SHOT fired home another winner for the Triple Crown team at Kembla Grange on Saturday, taking her record to two from two this preparation.

The daughter of Shooting To Win benefitted from a peach of a ride by Brandon Griffiths to score an authoritative half-length success over the tenacious Shadow Chaser, who kept Miss Sure Shot honest all the way to the line.

Miss Sure Shot jumped away nicely from the barriers and Brandon settled her in the perfect spot, on the heels of the leaders with cover. She travelled beautifully throughout and enjoyed a lovely run in transit, before letting down strongly in the straight to record her third career victory.

“She’s in good form now and two wins from two starts this preparation is great,” a delighted co-trainer Peter Snowden said in his post-race debrief.

“Brandon rode her very well and gave her the run of the race from that good draw. It was a gutsy win and she actually started to pull away the last four of five strides, which was good to see.

“I’m really happy for all the owners who have been patient with her and it’s good to see her win a couple straight away this prep.”

Congratulations to all the team at Snowden Racing, all of Miss Sure Shot’s owners and her strapper Sarah.

 

Miss Sure Shot wins a shade cosily on the line – Bradley Photos

Another big congratulations to Brandon Griffiths, who notched his first win for both Peter & Paul Snowden and the Triple Crown team having recently been appointed apprentice to the Snowden stable.

Hopefully plenty more to come from both Brandon and Miss Sure Shot in the future!

Brandon Griffiths and Miss Sure Shot return to the winner’s post at Kembla – Bradley Photos

Smart Image enhances Guineas credentials with dominant win

Exciting colt SMART IMAGE announced himself as a serious contender for next month’s $2m Magic Millions 3YO Guineas with an explosive first-up win at Canterbury on Friday night.

Given a superb ride by Kerrin McEvoy, the son of Smart Missile made it three wins from four starts with a cosy half length success over Catapult, defying a tricky draw and giving weight away to older horses in the process.

Smart Image jumped away well from his wide barrier and McEvoy immediately took him back to the rear of the field, before coming across heels to the sit on the inside rail. He travelled sweetly thereafter and ended up three pairs pack, before improving his position slightly as the field approached the turn for home.

At the top of the straight McEvoy was unable to get Smart Image to the outside and the pair briefly looked in a spot of bother, but when a gap presented itself towards the inside the colt surged through it impressively, showing an electric turn of foot in the final 100m for a dominant win on the line.

After impressing both his jockey and Peter & Paul Snowden, Smart Image is set to have one more run before a trip north for the lucrative Magic Millions 3YO Guineas on the Gold Coast in January.

“He jumped out fine but I didn’t have the speed to get a spot where I would have liked, so I had to ride for Plan B,” McEvoy told Smart Image’s ecstatic owners in his post-race debrief.

All Smiles! Kerrin McEvoy couldn’t hide his delight after partnering Smart Image to victory at Canterbury on Friday – Credit: Bradley Photos

“I came back and we rode the rail, he got in a lovely rhythm and travelled really well around the corner. It was his first run around Canterbury and he did it quite well.

“Once we got the gap he picked up really sharply. I can’t wait to see him go north [to the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas] and see how he goes.

“It was a great win and onwards and upwards for the prep.”

Smart Image’s delighted owners enjoy some post-race celebrations

“That was a huge effort,” a delighted Peter Snowden added.

“He was good late and through the line he was full of running, which is great to see going forward, knowing that his grand final is going to be over 1400m in a month’s time.”

Having won both of his starts as a two-year-old at Warwick Farm and Rosehill respectively, Smart Image’s sole defeat came in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes in August, when he failed to handle the heavy track.

Friday’s win took his career earnings past the $100,000 mark and congratulations to all his owners on another terrific success.

He is a colt with an exciting future!

Snowden Banks On Class Edge With Smart Image

There’s no doubt as far as co-trainer Peter Snowden is concerned that Smart Image will appear in some good quality races in 2021, but he’s stopped short of declaring a first-up win at Rosehill on Saturday.

Snowden said he’s rapt with how Smart Image has returned, he’s 40kg heavier, and the timing of the Schweppes Handicap (1300m) is perfect but the last 100m may be testing.

Smart Image and Kerrin McEvoy after winning on debut at Warwick Farm – Bradley Photos

“He’s come back well, he’s developed a fair bit more. He’s in good order and his two trials have been good,’’ he said.

“The only little question mark is 1300m first-up.

“It’s the right race for him if it is 1200m but I’m a touch worried about 1300m with 59.5kg on his back.

“He’s better than a Saturday horse, that’s for sure, I think he’s definitely a black type horse.”

The colt put his potential on show with impressive wins at Warwick Farm and Rosehill in July before failing to handle a heavy 10 in the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes won by North Pacific.

“He didn’t go through it at all, that was why he finished where he did,’’ Snowden said.

“He was up to that class but he didn’t go a yard in it and Kerrin (McEvoy) said he was gone at the 600m mark. Back on top of the ground he will be at his best.”

Smart Image was a $4.20 chance with TAB on Thursday and is being aimed at the Magic Millions carnival next month.

His recent trials have been quite similar to what she showed prior to making a winning debut where, particularly in his November 24 trial win, it appeared he needed encouragement before hitting the line hard – as he does in his races.

But Snowden said that’s more a case of the three-year-old taking a bit of time to hit top gear.

“He travels really well but it takes him about 100m to get organised and then he lets go,’’ he said.

“The more racing he does the better he will be.”

While in an ideal world there’d be 100m less for Smart Image, Snowden would love an extra 100m for Poetic Charmer’s first-up assignment in the Members Christmas Handicap (1100m) but expects the gelding to fire fresh.

The six-year-old, who had his second trial on Monday for a closing third, enjoyed a successful winter campaign including a first-up win at $21 on a heavy track – he’s a $16 chance on Saturday.

However, he’s yet to win below 1200m and hasn’t raced over 1100m fresh since he was an early season three-year-old.

“It’s a nice race for him, there’s good speed in it and his trials have been faultless,’’ Snowden said.

“Now he’s older he’s more mature, he’s not as aggressive in his work or races and pre-race he’s a lot better.

“The penny has dropped with him, he’s more settled in his work and he’s racing that way. He has a good turn of foot now, he’s always had talent and is starting to fulfil it.”

Snowden said there are two factors that could see Onslaught repeat his super first-up effort from Kembla two weeks ago and they are why the Iron Jack Handicap (1400m) was selected over a shorter option.

The seven-year-old was a $41 chance when he resumed with a game second to Mo’s Crown, he’s half that price at Rosehill.

Rachel King will once again partner Onslaught on Saturday – Ashlea Brennan Photography

“There’s two things with him. He runs his best races on good ground and when he can race up on speed,’’ Snowden said.

“In fast races with lots of speed he can put his hand up pretty quickly. But if he can race on speed and be there comfortably he normally runs a good race.

“There’s a lot of pressure in the 1200m race and I thought he might get a better chance to do that in the (1400m).”

By Ray Hickson – racingnsw.com.au

Charretera kicks off with gutsy Canterbury win

Having placed on all five of his starts last campaign, CHARRETERA finally got a reward for his consistency when prevailing in a thrilling finish to the Kia Evening Star Handicap at Canterbury on Friday night.

The son of Epaulette dug deep to get up in the dying strides under Tommy Berry, coming from off the pace and defying the pattern of the day in what was a terrific first-up performance.

Charretera, known affectionately as Chubbs by his adoring owners, settled towards the rear of the field in the early stages, where he travelled strongly throughout. Tommy elected to take closer order passing the 600m mark before angling Chubbs to the outside around the home turn, with the best part of four lengths to make up at the top of the straight.

In his customary fashion Charretera let down strongly, and despite peaking on his run inside the final half furlong, he got his nose in front where it matters most to score a narrow victory.

Charretera and his strapper Ella following his win at Canterbury – Credit: Ashlea Brennan Photography

“We found a good spot from the gate and I’d have liked to have waited a bit longer, but he had Phoenix Global coming back on his lap and I was going too well,” a delighted Tommy Berry said in his post-race debrief.

“He felt the pinch the last 100m, but he toughed it out today, which was good to see.

“Hopefully that win gives him a lot of confidence for this preparation.”

All smiles as Charretera’s owners celebrate his victory – Credit: Bradley Photos

Huge credit to Peter & Paul Snowden for having Chubbs ready to fire first-up and kudos to Tommy Berry as he continues to ride in terrific form.

It was great to see so many of his owners track side to roar him home and congratulations to all his connections.

 

Triple Crown trio light up Randwick trials

There is plenty for the Triple Crown team to look forward to in the coming weeks if Tuesday morning’s Randwick trials are anything to go by!

The Red silks were attracting plenty of attention at this morning’s hit-outs, with exciting colt SMART IMAGE the first to turn heads as he took out Heat 4 under Tommy Berry.

A winner of his first two starts as a two-year-old, Smart Image was undone by a heavy track in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes at his last start, but looks to have returned from his latest spell in superb order.

WINDSWEEP was another to win her heat convincingly, suggesting she has also returned in top order as she bids to build on the promise shown in her first racing preparation.

The daughter of Deep Field showed her rivals a clean pair of heels in the straight, crossing the line with her ears pricked to record a comfortable two and a half length success in Heat 6.

While Windsweep was always up on the speed, EXOBOOM had to pass significantly more rivals on his way to winning Heat 7.

An eye-catching second behind promising stablemate Rule Of Law on his only start to date, Exoboom looked every inch a winner in waiting as he defied greenness round the turn to score a narrow success.

The team were also delighted with the trial of Group 2 winner REELEM IN RUBY, who showed her customary zest for racing to finish a solid second in Heat 5 over 1050m.

The daughter of Pierro, who led home her fellow Triple Crown-raced stablemate Moss Trip in last year’s Hot Danish Stakes, will now head to the Listed Razor Sharp Stakes first-up at Royal Randwick on December 12.

Exciting times at Triple Crown HQ as we look to continue our red-hot end to 2020!

Bruce and Miss Sure Shot go bang at Wyong

MISS SURE SHOT and BIG BAD BRUCE made it two winners from two runners at Wyong yesterday on a memorable afternoon for the Triple Crown team.

Stepping out for the first time since May, talented mare Miss Sure Shot showed no signs of rustiness as she cruised to an authoritative length and a quarter victory over Mosht Up, benefiting from a peach of a ride by Robbie Dolan.

Now two from two at the central coast track, Miss Sure Shot looks to be in for a good preparation according to co-trainer Peter Snowden, who is hopeful yesterday’s victory can act as a springboard to further success for the lightly-raced mare.

“It looked like she was going to map well and it worked out perfectly for her, she was given a gun ride by Robbie,” he said.

“It was a good authoritative win and she started to come right away at the end, which was great to see.

“We’ve always liked her and always had an opinion of her, so hopefully this will be the making of her now that she’s a bit older and fully matured.

“Hopefully she can go on with it now and put a few wins together.”

It was great to see Miss Sure Shot so strong through the line in what was ultimately a classy performance. Congratulations to all her owners on a terrific win!

Miss Sure Shot and her strapper Sarah – Credit: Bradley Photos

BIG BAD BRUCE POWERS TO IMPRESSIVE VICTORY

Less than two hours after Miss Sure Shot landed the spoils, BIG BAD BRUCE brought up a Wyong double for the Triple Crown team with a comfortable success in the lucky last.

The son of Not A Single Doubt was in a different league to his rivals, defying a slightly tardy start to run out a convincing two length winner over the useful race favourite, Wild Chap.

After he was slightly sluggish away from the barriers, Bruce was bustled up by Sam Clipperton to settle in a midfield position. He travelled beautifully thereafter and cruised into contention approaching the turn, before letting down strongly to record an impressive victory.

Both Joe Pride and Sam Clipperton were full of praise for Bruce after the race, with the latter confident he can go on to further success back up in class.

“Joe gave me instructions before the race not to hit the front too soon, so I tried to time the run as best as I could. He was just too good,” the winning jockey said.

Big Bad Bruce and Sam Clipperton cruise to victory – Credit: Bradley Photos

“He’s a little bit quirky, which is probably why he’s run so many placings, but I was always confident he’d win. He’s obviously come back in good order and he’ll go home today thinking he’s king of the world.

“It was a good win off a big weight. Hopefully he can take a bit of confidence off that and there’s no reason why he can’t go and win a midweek race in town.”

Yesterday’s double saw Triple Crown’s red-hot form continue, with five winners and two placings from our last 13 runners contributing to a winning strike rate of 38% this month.

Congratulations to all the staff at both Snowden Racing and Pride Racing, with a special mention to both Sarah (Miss Sure Shot) and Jeff (Big Bad Bruce) who were on strapping duties.

Big Bad Bruce and his strapper Jeff after winning at Wyong – Credit: Bradley Photos

Another special mention for David & Jo AllenJohn & Judy Williams and Brad & Jo Nolan, all of whom have shares in both of yesterday’s winners!

David & Jo will be hoping for a memorable hat-trick with last-start winner MISTEED running for them at Kembla Grange on Saturday.

MISSILE MANTRA WINS THE SUMMONED STAKES

By Arrowfield Stud

Arrowfield graduate Missile Mantra put a frustrating 3YO season behind her when she powered to victory in Saturday’s $160,000 MRC Summoned S. 1500m G3.

It was the Snowden-trained mare’s third win and her first since she took out the Vale Redoute’s Choice S. LR as a late 2YO. The highlight of her 3YO campaign was a very close second to Flit in the Thousand Guineas G1.

The daughter of Smart Missile is a wonderful success story for her ownership group and Triple Crown syndicators Chris & Michael Ward who bought her for $30,000 from Arrowfield’s 2018 Magic Millions draft.

Missile Mantra’s earnings are now close to $500,000 and her future broodmare value is substantial.

Other Arrowfield yearlings purchased by Triple Crown include Group 1 winner  & $1.3 million earner Hot Snitzel, bought for $60,000, and Group 2 winner Flying Snitzel who cost $25,000, earned $340,000 and was sold as a broodmare for $410,000.

Unbeaten 2YO stakeswinner, Group 1-placed 3YO & Group 3-winning 4YO Missile Mantra, as a Magic Millions yearling at Arrowfield. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

Missile Mantra is one of eight stakeswinners from Arrowfield’s Class of 2018, and among the 51 stakes-winning graduates from Arrowfield’s 2014-19 yearling drafts.

Her dam Wecansay Mak (by Starcraft), a winning sister to dual Group 1 winner We Can Say It Now, has a yearling filly by Dundeel, a Snitzel filly at foot and has been served by Castelvecchio.

Missile Mantra rockets to Group 3 victory

Triple Crown stable star MISSILE MANTRA provided the perfect end to the Spring Carnival with a scintillating success in the Group 3 Summoned Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.

The daughter of Smart Missile came from near last at the turn to get up in the shadows of the post, showing her trademark turn of foot and tenacity to record a memorable victory in the $160,000 contest.

Already a Listed winner prior to her second in last year’s Group 1 Thousand Guineas, Saturday’s success was Missile Mantra’s first at Group level, further enhancing her value as a future broodmare prospect at the culmination of her racing career.

Co-trainer Peter Snowden was full of praise for jockey John Allen, who timed his challenge to perfection aboard the $3.80 favourite to get the better of the rallying Tricky Gal.

Missile Mantra noses out Tricky Gal to record her first Group win – Credit: Racing Photos

“Watching it, I was really confident,” Snowden told Racing.com in his post-race interview. “She travelled really well down the hill, and through the dip I thought it was just a matter of timing this right. He [John Allen] did it perfectly, but gee I thought the margin was going to be better than it was.

“I’ll take it though, half an inch is as good as 10 lengths, it’s still a win. Three or four times we’ve been beaten by the same amount and one of those was in a Group 1, so she certainly deserved that. I’m really pleased for everyone and all her owners.

“Triple Crown have been fantastic. Every year they keep buying nice horses that keep training on and we’re so thankful to have them in our stable.”

Snowden couldn’t hide his pride when reflecting on Missile Mantra’s latest achievement, before confirming that she will now enjoy a well-earned spell after winning on her sixth run of the preparation.

“I’m really pleased for the horse too,” he added. “She hasn’t had the right luck at the right times, but she always tries.

“She ran second in the Thousand Guineas and got beat an absolute eyebrow. That was hard to take – it’s gut wrenching to be beaten that much in a Group 1 race.

“She made her own luck on Saturday. She sat wide, covered ground but really surged late and was good on the line. It was only a narrow margin, but I think it was a convincing win and the time was good.

“She’s done a great job and has handled the prep really well this time through. She’ll go to the paddock now for a spell and she’ll go out a winner.”

The dream team: Missile Mantra and John Allen at Sandown on Saturday – Credit: Racing Photos

Missile Mantra’s victory capped a fruitful day at the office for Peter & Paul Snowden, who saddled up no less than FIVE winners on the day across Victoria and NSW.

The win also took Missile Mantra’s career prizemoney to a shade under half a million dollars – a handsome return on the $30,000 Triple Crown’s Chris & Michael ward paid for her at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2018.

With Saturday’s Group 3 success adding to her Listed win and previous placings at both Group 1 and Group 2 level, Missile Mantra now boasts an impressive pedigree page and looks sure to be a valuable broodmare proposition.

A big well done and thank you to all the team at Snowden Racing Flemington for having her in such good order this preparation, and congratulations to all her owners on further big race success!

Missile Mantra and her strapper after winning the Group 3 Summoned Stakes – Credit: Racing Photos

Triple Crown trio target feature races

Feature races across the country continue apace over the coming weeks, with plenty of stakes contests and big-money prizes on the horizon for the Triple Crown team.

The first of those comes as soon as Wednesday, with dual Group 3 winner MILITARY ZONE set to line up in the rescheduled Listed Ladies’ Day Vase at Hawkesbury.

The son of Epaulette will be ridden by Sam Clipperton and looks poised to face 12 rivals in tomorrow’s feature race. His only previous visit to the track resulted in Group 3 victory when he landed last year’s Hawkesbury Guineas in tenacious fashion.

Military Zone on his way to victory in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas

With a dry forecast over the next 48 hours, he looks set to encounter his favoured good track conditions in what will be his final hit-out before the $1 million The Gong later this month.

It’s fair to say Military Zone has some unfinished business in The Gong having run an absolute cracker when beaten less than a length twelve months ago.

He didn’t enjoy the clearest of runs that day and was hampered at a crucial stage, so there’s every reason to believe he is capable of going a few places better this year if granted a smoother passage.

Missile Mantra Summoned to Sandown

MISSILE MANTRA lost no admirers when beaten just 1.2L in the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes at her last start, and the daughter of Smart Missile will attempt to add that all important Group win to her CV in Saturday’s Summoned Stakes at Sandown.

A Listed winner on just her second career start, Missile Mantra hasn’t always enjoyed the rub of the green in her races despite managing to place at Group 1 and Group 2 level.

That was once again the case in the Empire Rose, where she missed a run at the top of straight, but she has bounced out of that race in terrific order and looks set to run another big one in Saturday’s Group 3 contest over the 1500m.

Brave Song on the Hunt for $1m

On what is shaping up to be an exciting Saturday for the Triple Crown team, BRAVE SONG looks set to spearhead our runners in NSW as the Group 2 winner chases a big pay day in The Hunter at Newcastle.

Brave Song lined up in last year’s inaugural running of the $1m contest and ran much better than his finishing position suggests. He missed the kick and was dead last turning for home, but still made up a stack of ground in the straight to be beaten only 3.37L by the winner, who was able to control the race from the front.

Brave Song lines up in the $1m The Hunter for the second year running

Bad barriers and soft tracks have been his undoing subsequently and, much like his stablemate Military Zone, good tracks bring out the best in this horse. Thankfully Newcastle is a notoriously good draining track and hopefully he should have conditions to suit on Saturday.

Whatever happens, it’s great to be racing for such amazing prizemoney and be able to provide our loyal owners with the opportunity to run for a million dollars!

Misteed in full bloom at Rosehill Gardens

Talented mare MISTEED gained a well-deserved fourth success at metropolitan level when digging deep to take out the last race at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

The daughter of Exceed and Excel took her career earnings past the $300,000 mark with a tenacious victory under Robbie Dolan, who timed his challenge to perfection aboard the $8 shot.

Donning blinkers for the first time, that gear change appeared to have made an immediate impact when Misteed pinged the lids, before settling in a lovely position behind the leading trio.

She travelled beautifully throughout and began to quicken shortly after straightening, where Robbie Dolan angled her out into clear running as the pair entered the final 300m.

Misteed gave a good kick and hit the front at the 50m mark, staying on strongly in the closing stages to score by a head on the line.

Misteed and Robbie Dolan strike the front at Rosehill – Credit: Bradley Photos

“She felt great and was just travelling so well for me,” a delighted Robbie Dolan said in his post-race debrief.

“She switched off nice, I was able to get a nice trail behind Winona (Costin) for the first half of the race. I cut the corner and got on the back of Brenton (Avdulla).

“As soon as I popped off she really accelerated good with the blinkers on and was strong all the way to the line.”

Having hit the crossbar on a number of occasions last preparation, it was great to see Misteed get a reward for her consistency, picking up $58,000 in prizemoney to boot for her owners.

It has been a fruitful last couple of weeks for the Triple Crown team, with four winners from our last 10 runners for a strike rate of 40%.

Long may the good run continue with plenty of runners over the next seven days, spearheaded by MILITARY ZONE and MISSILE MANTRA chasing further stakes race success.

Robbie Dolan all smiles after guiding Misteed to her fourth city success – Credit: Ashlea Brennan