News

Double delight for the red army makes it a weekend to remember

The Triple Crown team had plenty of cause for celebration over the weekend after Ironbark Artie and Pole Position provided the red army with a winning double. 

The ultra-consistent IRONBARK ARTIE was first to strike at Kembla Grange on Saturday, where he showed toughness and tenacity in spades to fend off the sustained challenge of race favourite Ottilie in a ding-dong battle up the straight. 

Ironbark Artie and Andrew Adkins get the chocolates at Kembla Grange – Bradley Photos

Ridden to perfection by Andrew Adkins, Ironbark Artie was always within striking distance of the leaders and cruised into contention turning for home. The son of Flying Artie hit the front a fair way out, but despite wondering under pressure, he continued to respond to his jockeys urgings and held on gamely to score by a head. 

A $30,000 purchase from the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale, Ironbark Artie has been a model of consistency for his terrific group of owners and has now won or placed in seven of his nine career starts

The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained three-year-old has also developed a real affinity for Kembla Grange, and is yet to finish outside the top two in four career starts down in Wollongong. 

A happy group of owners following Ironbark Artie’s win at Kembla Grange – Bradley Photos

Positioned to perfection

Less than 24 hours later, the champagne corks were popping once again after POLE POSITION got Sunday off to a flyer with a determined success in the opener at Wyong. 

Having his first start for the Joe Pride stable, Pole Position didn’t have things all his own way in the early stages and was made to work before crossing to sit outside the leader. 

The son of Astern travelled beautifully throughout the 1100m contest and was produced at the perfect moment by Chad Schofield, who got his head in front where it mattered most to score a gutsy 0.15L victory. 

Pole Position is another member of the Triple Crown team who rarely disappoints, having finished in the quinella in five of his eight career starts to date. 

He will now have his sights raised, with his trainer indicating that a tilt at metropolitan class is likely to be the next port of call for the progressive four-year-old. 

“It was a really good win for him today first-up,” Pride said in his post-race debrief. 

“It’s easy to say now, but Chad made a really good decision to roll forward, get comfortable and get into a nice rhythm. He finished off really well and I was really impressed with the fight he showed late in the race. 

“We’ll see how he pulls up and probably give him at least two weeks between runs, but we’ll probably take him to a midweek now.”

Triple Crown’s Michael Ward getting the lowdown from Chad Schofield for the owners who weren’t able to make it to the track – Bradley Photos

Pole Position was purchased by Triple Crown’s Chris & Michael Ward for $50,000 from the Aquis Farm draft at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2020. 

There are only a few shares remaining in some of this year’s Magic Millions purchases, and off the back of a red-hot weekend there has never been a better time to join the Triple Crown team in racehorse ownership. 

Be sure to head to our Available Syndicates page on the website for all the latest info on our recent purchases, or alternatively Click Here to register your interest and have one of our team contact you to discuss the process. 

Congratulations to all the teams at both Snowden Racing and Pride Racing, as well as both sets of owners in Ironbark Artie and Pole Position!

More happy owners! Pole Position’s connections are all smiles following his second career success – Bradley Photos

Triple Crown owners chase Magic payday in million dollar race

Triple Crown’s loveable chestnut RANGES will bid to write another chapter in his remarkable story when he races for a million dollars in Saturday’s inaugural The Syndicate on the Gold Coast.

A great new initiative introduced by Magic Millions, the $1m The Syndicate is a race restricted to Magic Millions-purchased horses aged three and above and who have a minimum of 20 registered owners. 

Ever since it was announced last year, The Syndicate has been firmly on the radar for Ranges, and we are delighted to have secured the services of leading jockey Tommy Berry, who has won on him three times previously, including once at Stakes level. 

Photo: Ranges and Tommy Berry after winning the Listed Hinkler Handicap

Ranges is the perfect example of the fun you can have when joining the Triple Crown team in one of our purchases from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

The son of Shooting To Win was purchased for $140,000 back in 2018 and has continued to improve with age and experience. He has earned $600,000 (and counting!) in prizemoney for his owners, winning time-honoured races like the Listed Ramornie Handicap at Grafton in the process, while his career record of 8 wins and 19 placings from 39 career starts is a testament to his consistency and love for racing. 

He is a credit to his fantastic group of owners and all the team at Snowden Racing, who have done a terrific job bringing him through the grades. 

A win on Saturday would see Ranges’ career earnings smash through the $1,000,000 mark, and although he has to overcome the widest barrier of all, history tells us that you should never underestimate Ranges!

Best of luck to Snowden Racing and all his owners, many of whom will be at the Gold Coast on Saturday ready to roar him home!

Photo: Ranges’ owners celebrate his first Stakes success. Hopefully there will be similar scenes on the Gold Coast come Saturday! – Michael McInally 

Feel the Force!

The Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale has started with a bang, and Triple Crown’s Chris & Michael Ward are grinning like cheshire cats this evening!

That’s because they secured their number one pick of the opening session – an absolutely ripping colt by the record-breaking two-year-old COSMIC FORCE.

Photo: Just look at the strong chest and forearm, as well as the powerful hindquarter, on this outstanding Cosmic Force colt!

“This colt was an absolute standout and a must have. He is sheer quality and one to target at next year’s Magic Millions 2YO race. We couldn’t be more excited to have secured him.”

Chris Ward

This colt screams speed, strength and power! He is out of a mare by Champion Sire Fastnet Rock, just like multiple Group 1 winner SANTA ANA LANE and last year’s Group 1 Flight Stakes heroine ZOUGOTCHA. Only mares by multiple Champion Broodmare sire Encosta De Lago produced more individual Stakes winners than Fastnet Rock mares last year!

His sire, COSMIC FORCE, was trained by Peter & Paul Snowden to win the Pago Pago Stakes (by a record 7.3L) and the Roman Consul Stakes (in race-record time!), a race which has been won by champion stallions Exceed and Excel, Fastnet Rock, Zoustar, and Russian Revolution.

The red-hot Snowden Racing team will also train this colt, so he couldn’t be in better hands!

Video: Peter Snowden and James McDonald share their thoughts on Cosmic Force.

This colt was also purchased from the same breeders that bred our Group 2 winner and Blue Diamond runner-up REVOLUTIONARY MISS, and when Chris & Michael Ward first saw him during their on-farm inspections last month, he gave them the very same wow factor!

Video: Michael Ward on why they simply had to have the Cosmic Force ex Joseph’s Coat colt.

As with all our Magic Millions purchases, this colt is bound to sell out fast, so be sure to register your interest and be first in line to receive all the relevant information by clicking on the link below!

Ramornie winner nearly on way out before remarkable turnaround

Ranges on his way to victory
Ranges is set to carry on where he left off when he resumes. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images.

Randwick trainer Paul Snowden didn’t mince his words when talking what he thought the future held just over 12 months ago for this year’s Ramornie winner Ranges.

The six-year-old son of Shooting To Win has been one of the real surprise packets in Australian racing over the past year, after Snowden revealed he was close to being listed on the Inglis Digital sale platform.

“He was threatened to get the sack,” Snowden, who trains in partnership with his father Peter, said.

“He was gone, running around in Benchmark 64s at Kembla and then all of a sudden, he came good.

“Maybe he’s like Mister Ed and understands English and heard the report saying, ‘this is it. If he doesn’t start pulling his finger out he’s gone’.

“He was deadset gone then he resumed at The Gong meeting last year and since then, different horse. That was the turning point.

“Now he’s won two Listed races and you wouldn’t find a more consistent horse.

“You don’t often see them turn it around as five-year-olds like he did.

“He’s a real head scratcher but in the best way possible.

To give some perspective to the change in fortunes for the owners of Ranges, the gelding had 25 starts and earned just over $160,000 in his first 25 starts from June 2019 until the end of the 2020/21 season.

Since then he’s had another two campaigns, 12 starts later he’s a two-time stakes winner and he’s earned just sky of another $430,000.

“Now he’s that confident he carries on now like he’s Black Caviar,” Snowden said. 

“He gets the tail up and he’s as confident as they get.

“The way he’s been carrying on around the stables tells me he’s ready to carry on from where he left off.”

Ranges is set to kick off his latest campaign in a 900m barrier trial at Canterbury on Tuesday with the Magic Millions Raceday on the Gold Coast on January 14 his main target.

“I think he’s down to resume in the Razor Sharp but the Gold Coast is where it’s at for him,” Snowden said.

“He’s going up there for the new Syndication race, 1200m, weight-for-age and worth a million.

Meanwhile, this year’s Magic Millions 3YO Guineas winner King Of Sparta is also set to trial on Tuesday and again bounce for the Gold Coast in January.

“He’s had a good break and come back well,” Snowden said.

“He’ll go first-up in the Razor Sharp then depending on how he looks and how he runs there will determine if he has another run before Magic Millions Day.

“We’re looking at nominating him for both, the Cup (1400m) and the Snippets (1200m) and then decide which way we go closer to the day.”

By Clinton Payne

Racenet

Pierro Filly Wins G3 Spring Stakes

Photo: Pierossa Spring Stakes
Photo: Pierossa Spring Stakes
Pierossa sprints clear to win the Group 3 Spring Stakes

With 100 metres left to run, eight runners still had a shot of winning Saturday’s Group III Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle, but it was talented filly Pierossa (3f Pierro x Edwina Georgie, by Testa Rossa) that delivered on the line to score a neck win for Triple Crown Syndications.

Fresh of a maiden win over 1600m at Gosford, Pierossa found enough under Sam Clipperton to defeat the Chris Waller-trained duo Kazalark and Robusto (3g Churchill x She’s Clean, by Redoute’s Choice).

Trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, Pierossa took five starts to break her maiden, but Clipperton said the best would be seen by the daughter of Pierro when the distances stretch out.

“It was a tough win. I’ve had a lot of time for this filly for a fair while,” Clipperton said.

“She’s progressed with the more racing she has had. She won a maiden at Gosford with little depth, but her work on Tuesday morning was first-class.

“She is a filly that you must squeeze every little bit out of, but she knuckles down under hard riding.

“She will be a more mature filly in the autumn who will be best over distances around 2000m.”

A $120,000 purchase for Triple Crown Syndications from the Tyreel Stud draft at the 2021 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, Pierossa advances her record to two wins and two seconds from six starts with earnings of $155,375.

A half-sister to Listed winner and multiple Group III placed Ploverset, Pierossa is the third winner from as many to race out of the Testa Rossa mare Edwina Georgie.

Pierossa is the 32nd stakes-winner for Pierro.

By Coolmore

Oh What A Week

Everyone enters racehorse ownership with dreams of competing on the big stage and in the big races. Well they don’t come any bigger than Group 1’s and The Everest all in the space of four days. Two sets of Triple Crown owners had the thrills of their lives when their respective horses lined up and performed outstandingly well last week in the Group 1 Thousand Gunieas and then the $15m The Everest.

Firstly, the team’s focus was down in Melbourne at Caulfield as Revolutionary Miss tackled the Group 1 Thousand Guineas for 3yo fillies. As was the unfortunate theme of the week, she had drawn a wide barrier and was forced to take the scenic route home covering plenty of extra ground whilst the eventual winner, Madame Pommery was expertly guided up the inside by James McDonald. Revolutionary Miss was both tough and tenacious as she closed hard to finish an exciting second. Incredibly, this was the second time she has finished second in a Group 1 at Caulfield, having also finished second (by a nose) as a 2yo in the Group 1 Blue Diamond.

Those two Group 1 placings along with her Group 2 win in the Blue Diamond Prelude have seen her career earnings climb to $712,275 so far and have also skyrocketed her residual value for her owners post racing. Revolutionary Miss was selected and purchased by Triple Crown’s Chris & Michael Ward for $195,000 from China Horse Club in the Sledmere Stud draft at the 2021 Magic Millions sale.

Revolutionary Miss owners celebrate after winning the Neds Blue Diamond Prelude (F) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 12, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (George Salpigtidis/Racing Photos)

Then the week somehow managed to go to another level after yet again another huge build up to The Everest back in Sydney at Royal Randwick. Racing NSW and The ATC do an outstanding job in promoting this race and indeed the whole day where we experienced a huge crowd of 47,000 people with an energy pulsating through the track like no other day. After winning the first two editions of The Everest with Redzel, the Triple Crown team was fortunate enough to be back with their fourth runner in the race’s six year history and attempting to win it for a third occasion. Giga Kick proved to be a touch too good on the day but we couldn’t have been prouder of Mazu’s huge run. He had drawn barrier 11 in the spectacular drone light show earlier in the week and we knew that he would need some luck early in the race to give him a chance of winning against the enormous talent assembled for the race. Unfortunately, that luck deserted him, and he too had to circle the field and was incredibly brave to fight on and finish in third place, less than a length behind the winner. The owners were fully aware of the quality of performance that Mazu just produced and celebrated like winners when it was confirmed that he had clinched third ahead of Nature Strip.

In doing so, Mazu won a further $1,4000,000 in prizemoney to take his career tally to $3,366,850 so far. Mazu was selected and purchased by Triple Crown’s Chris & Michael Ward for $180,000 from Parsons Creek at the 2020 Inglis Classic sale.

Mazu owners celebrate winning the Group 1 Doomben 10000. Photo: Darren Winningham

Both Revolutionary Miss and Mazu have a really exciting 12 months ahead starting with Mazu contesting the upcoming $3m Nature Strip Stakes over 1300m at Rosehill.

Congratulations to all of our owners of both horses on an amazing week!

Triple Crown Aims to Scale Everest for a Third Time

The name Triple Crown is synonymous with the world’s richest race on turf, The Everest. That is thanks to the fact that Australia’s leading syndicator, Triple Crown Syndications, famously went back-to-back and won the the first two editions of the life changing race with Redzel. Tomorrow, they will be lining up with a live chance in the $15m The Everest for a remarkable fourth time in the race’s six year history. This time with Australia’s most exciting young sprinter, Mazu and in The Star/Arrowfield slot.

Chris Ward, Mazu & Michael Ward at Inglis after purchasing Mazu from Parsons Creek

There are some striking similarities between both Redzel and Mazu. Firstly, the Champion Sprinter Redzel was selected and purchased by Triple Crown’s Michael & Chris Ward (for $120,000) as was Mazu (for $180,000). Both horses showed tremendous talent from the word go, winning on debut in the Autumn of their two-year-old year. They both went on to stakes grade races and performed very well without stamping themselves as truely elite due to them both being a little head strong. “They both just wanted to do things in a bit of a hurry and didn’t fully relax and it showed in their racing manners” said Chris Ward. “Both were gelded and from that point their careers starting on an upward trajectory, culminating in the both winning the Group 1 Doomben 10000 leading into their first Everest campaign.”

“The main difference is that Mazu is doing it all about 12 months ahead of what Redzel did. We believe Mazu has a big future ahead and will be peaking in the next 12-24 months” commented Ward.

Mazu’s trainers, Peter & Paul Snowden go into tomorrow’s feature race with a lot of confidence that Mazu will lay down a peak performance for the preparation. They have been slowly building him towards a crescendo just as they did with Redzel a few years ago. The Triple Crown and Snowden Racing team acknowledge some luck is required after Mazu drew barrier 11 in the spectacular drone barrier draw on Sydney’s harbour. If he gets that luck the team believes a top three finish is very much in his grasp but whatever he does, look out in 2023’s The Everest for which he has already secured a slot.

Mazu draws barrier 11 in the Sydney Skyline

It goes without saying but a victory in tomorrow’s $15m The Everest would be a life changing experience for Mazu’s owners. “we have a fantastic group of owners in this horse” Ward said. “They come from all walks of life and from all different parts of Australia. We have his breeder (Parsons Creek) along with a couple of farmers, doctors, office workers, an entrepreneur and a chimney sweep. We have them all and they are such fun to race with and obviously all share the same passion. Many great friendships have been made off the back of this wonderful horse.”

“Gee I hope he can win it tomorrow. We are fortunate enough to know what it’s like to win an Everest and we would love to share that experience with this bunch of owners. Either way, it’s going to be one hell of an experience and I can’t wait.”

Michael & Chris Ward lift The Everest trophy with their Redzel owners in 2017. Photo: Bradley Photos

MANY THREADS OF MANY COLOURS MAKE MAZU’S STORY

Mazu winning the $1 million Arrowfield 3YO Sprint G2 at Randwick  in April 2022. (PHOTO: Lisa Grimm)

A glance at the Parsons Creek news page shows the significance of their star graduate Mazu. 

The latest three news items are all about him: the Doomben 10,000 G1 winner, the Arrowfield 3YO Sprint G2 winner, the three-time Listed stakeswinner, the $1.9 million earner and the Everest contender secured by The Star & Arrowfield for 2022 and 2023. 

As Parsons Creek Operations Manager Jo O’Gorman says, “He’s done wonders for us as a small farm, he’s opened a lot of doors and we’re very proud of him.”

The 4YO son of Maurice has emerged from a rich back-story woven across several decades, connecting multiple owners, breeders & trainers, three Arrowfield stallions, past champions, a leading syndicator and a fateful decision to buy a 17 year-old broodmare.

Born in 1999 at Arrowfield – whose brand she carries – from the third crop of future Champion Sire Flying Spur, Mazu’s dam Chatelaine was bred and raced by Sydney businessman Geoff Wild, one of the racing owners of the celebrated Australian champion of the 1980s, Emancipation. 

Chatelaine’s immediate family wasn’t top-drawer, but her third dam Cendrillon was a high-class filly who defeated the great Storm Queen in the 1966 Thousand Guineas.

A little further back in the pedigree is Grey Port, the dam of Mayfowl, conqueror of champion Flight in the 1943 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes. In one of this story’s several asides, Flight was owned by Sir Brian Crowley whose namesake race was Mazu’s first stakes victory in October 2021.

Chatelaine was sent to the Randwick stable of Ron Quinton who recalls, “She was a big filly and it was quite amazing we got her to the Widden Stakes as a two-year-old, when she probably needed a little bit more time.”

Chatelaine was second in that race, earning black type on debut, and as a Spring 3YO contested the Princess Series dominated by Victory Vein, splitting that filly and Calaway Gal in the Silver Shadow S. G2.

After six placings, Chatelaine finally won at a Canterbury night meeting in October 2002, but seven months later she was sold to Stuart Ramsey’s Turangga Stud and transferred to Peter Moody’s Melbourne stable. Ron, who otherwise describes Geoff Wild as “a lovely bloke”, says, “I went crook at him because I would have bought her myself if I’d known she was for sale!” 

Ron has hopes of his own for a 2YO Maurice filly, Watch My Girl (ex Minamya) purchased by good client Ray Gall from Arrowfield at Inglis Easter. 

Retired to stud in 2005, Chatelaine became an immediate gem for Turangga, leaving Champion 2YO Filly and Coolmore Stud S. G1 winner Headway in the first crop of former Arrowfield sire Charge Forward. 

That early success helped Chatelaine’s next two sale yearlings gross $700,000, and she left two more winners, Beckon & Empress Matilda, to Charge Forward. When the Ramsey family dispersed most of their bloodstock in July 2017, Chatelaine was Lot 36, in foal again to Charge Forward and knocked down to Marc & Lindy De Stoop for $54,000 – not a lot to pay for a Group 1 producer, but not peanuts, either. 

Jo (Marc & Lindy’s daughter) explains the background. “We’d bought Parsons Creek as a lifestyle farm but it had been beautifully set up for thoroughbreds by Jack and Lucy Horseman, so we thought we’d pick up a few mares to breed from.

“Chatelaine was found by our then-manager John Collison, he was very good on pedigrees and liked her as a Flying Spur mare. 

“A lot of people are put off buying older mares but she’s a really big roomy type, she’s very strong and carries her age well.”

The case for elite producers as older mares is supported by the early 1990s research of leading bloodstock consultant & analyst Bill Oppenheim who confirms the finding that broodmares “could up to the age of 21 produce a horse as good as the best horse they produced in their first six foals.”

Chatelaine delivered city winner The Cruiser in 2017 and Jo explains how she and her parents decided on her next mating. 

“We went to the stallion parades and saw Maurice. We didn’t know much about Japanese sires but he’s such a striking horse and super-athletic. We watched all his races and thought we’d take a punt on him as a young, fertile stallion.”

The foal that arrived in October 2018 wasn’t entirely the hoped-for result. “Mazu was small as a foal and not the strongest, but he was neatly made and had a lot of attitude.” 

His biggest fan was lifelong horseman and Parsons Creek Stud Manager Ross Bone who kept saying, “This horse is going to run – he’s fantastic.” 

By the time Parsons Creek came to sell the Maurice-Chatelaine colt, in the Farm’s first yearling draft at Inglis Classic 2020, Marc De Stoop shared that opinion and retained 25% of him after he was purchased for $180,000 by Triple Crown Syndications.

Triple Crown’s Chris Ward said at the time, “He’s one of those colts that really took our eye the second that Mike and I saw him come out of his box. Maurice himself was just simply an exceptional racehorse, so if he throws on any of that sort of quality to this colt, I think we’ll have a lot of fun.”

That prediction has proved to be accurate on every front. Jo says, “It’s a great group of owners and Triple Crown are very professional.” 

One of those owners, Matt Garreffa came up with the name Mazu, which is Japanese for “first” or “in the first place”, a position he’s filled in 7 of his 13 starts.

Jo, who previously worked in events & marketing, is well-organised for Everest Day. “We’ve booked three tables for family and friends, we’ll hang out with the Triple Crown owners and win, lose or draw we’ll all have a bit of a party afterwards at the Woollahra Hotel.”

Meanwhile, the “Queen of Parsons Creek” grazes happily with her best friend Noweheretosomewhere, a grand-daughter of Songline, forever famous as the dam of three-time Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Sunline. 

Now 23 years-old, Chatelaine is due to foal later this month to Redoute’s Choice’s dual Group 1-winning son King’s Legacy and the De Stoops are fervently hoping for a filly. 

However, they have a back-up plan in the form of Whitula (Onemorenomore-Chatelaine), purchased last year for $150,000 and now the dam of a yearling filly by Cosmic Force, and a filly foal by Maurice.

By Arrowfield Stud

Revolutionary Miss Aims for Group 1 Redemption

The highly talented 3yo filly, Revolutionary Miss ran an exceptional 2nd by a pimple in the Group 1 Blue Diamond stakes as a 2yo over 1200m. Tomorrow she returns to the same scene at Caulfield with the aim of going one better but this time over 1600m in the time honoured Group 1 Thousand Guineas.

The Snowden trained filly has been running well this preparation without luck and again didn’t find any luck from the barrier gods after drawing gate 10. She finished off very strongly over 1400m in her most recent outing in the Jim Maloney Stakes at Sandown. She was running last as they were turning for home and ultimately finished just 2.6 lengths behind the winner, Waltz On By. But this was enough to show that she should appreciate the step up to the mile and with an ounce of luck from the tricky barrier, she could figure in the finish and atone for that narrow Group 1 defeat as a 2yo.

This Group 2 winning filly by Russian Revolution was selected and purchased for $195,000 by Chris & Michael Ward from the Sledmere Farm draft at the 2021 Magic Millions.

Revolutionary Miss ridden by Michael Dee wins the Neds Blue Diamond Prelude (F) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 12, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Snowden Looking For Positive Start To Mazu’s Everest Journey

Photo: Mazu

By Ray Hickson

You have to feel a little for exciting sprinter Mazu, not only is he regarded as the next big thing in the sprinting ranks but cut from the same mould as dual Everest winner Redzel.

That’s a fair amount to heap on the four-year-old’s shoulders but co-trainer Paul Snowden suspects he could be an improved version of the stable’s former star who retired with over $16 million in prizemoney.

“He’s got a lot of similarities. His work is much alike to the old horse, his racing pattern is quite similar,’’ Snowden said.

“He has that ability to absorb some pressure. If Redzel got attacked early or midrace, Trapeze Artist got him a couple of times, he was vulnerable late whereas this horse won’t be.”

Redzel was five when he won the inaugural Everest in 2017 so time is on Mazu’s side and that was recognised with connections securing a two-year Everest slot deal.

Mazu wins the Group1 Doomben 10000 Photo: Darren Winningham

Mazu begins the first of what could be many TAB Everest campaigns in a star-studded Group 2 $1 million Bowermans Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick and Snowden said the result is less important than the performance on Saturday.

But he’s quietly confidence the performance will confirm his place in TAB Everest betting. He’s $6.50 third elect with TAB in the Shorts and shares the second line at $8 in the Everest.

That’s because Mazu has returned in great order from his breakthrough autumn campaign, where he went unbeaten in five starts including the Group 2 Arrowfield Stakes and the Group 1 Doomben 10,000.

“It’s been a great preparation,’’ Snowden said.

“Obviously they all resume in this race but the key component is how much improvement each horse has got coming out of the race.

“It’s going to be a sticky result from everyone’s point of view but I don’t think it matters where you run so to speak it’s how much improvement you have in you.

“I’d like to think he’s going to butter up against these good horses in the future and it all starts on Saturday.”

It’s widely expected the Shorts will be genuinely run and Snowden said from Mazu’s barrier (four) he could be the one to take advantage if Nature Strip and Eduardo falter up front.

“We’re going out there to run well,’’ he said.

“There’s a bit of a tail to this race but I’d like to think we’ve got a nice horse who can run well against these. There’s going to be speed on and hopefully we can be just behind it and have the last look.”

Godolphin is playing the patient game in selecting an Everest runner, with Paulele regarded as the number one seed, and trainer James Cummings sends Andermatt and Athelric into battle in The Shorts.

The duo mixed it with Eduardo in the Concorde with Athelric finishing second and Andermatt, who was heavily backed, in fourth so Cummings concedes both need to improve on their efforts.

“It doesn’t look like they can cause an upset but I think both horses can run very well,’’ Cummings said on SEN.

“It’s a shame to see Andermatt drawn so wide off the track, he’s going to have a lot to do, but his condition going into the first-up run told me there was a stack of improvement in the horse.

“With that run under his belt he’s gone ahead and he’s going to need to if he is to run any sort of race against the quality of opposition he’s up against. The depth is extraordinary.”

Athelric rushed through the grades in the late autumn culminating in a Listed win in Queensland and Cummings suggested on his Concorde effort he can continue to climb the ladder to a degree.

Whether he’s an Everest horse for Godolphin remains to be seen but he could be angling for a run in the Group 3 $2 million Sydney Stakes (1200m) on the Everest undercard.

“He took that first-up run in his stride, he continues to train in an understated fashion,’’ Cummings said.

“He could be a quiet achiever and he is going to get a perfect run from his draw. Look for him to be running another good race but we’ve got to be realistic.

“He might find himself in something reasonable in one or two starts time.”