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.
“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.”
“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!
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.
“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.”
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.
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!
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.
“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.
Another special mention for David & Jo Allen, John & 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.