Triple Crown on the hunt for next Redzel at Magic Millions

By Andrew Hawkins of ANZ Bloodstock

Late Friday afternoon; January 10, 2014.

The action was slowly winding down at Magic Millions’ Bundall complex as day three of the annual Gold Coast Yearling Sale drew to a close. 

It was a session in which the sale’s only million-dollar yearling, a Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) colt out of blueblood mare Hades (Encosta De Lago), had created headlines. With just a handful of yearlings left to parade in front of a packed buying bench, the focus had begun to turn to the next day’s racing action and the sales-restricted features, led by the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m).

Among those focused on the Saturday card at the Southport track, right across the road, were the Triple Crown Syndications team, brothers Chris and Michael Ward. However, it was after a drama-filled morning in which their Group 2-winning colt Charlie Boy (Myboycharlie) had been ruled out of the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (RL, 1400m) with a hamstring issue, one that would eventually keep him sidelined until the spring. 

He had been the $8 third favourite at the time he was withdrawn.

It was with that in mind that the brothers sat ringside as the last few lots went through the Magic Millions ring. 

Most eyes were on the first foal out of champion filly Melito (Redoute’s Choice), Lot 560, who would develop into the Japanese Group 2 runner-up Campbell Junior (Encosta De Lago). 

Enter Lot 565, a Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice) colt out of Group 3 winner Millrich (Rubiton), who had finished third to Flying Spur (Danehill) and Octagonal (Zabeel) in the 1995 Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m).

Snitzel x Millrich colt as a yearling

Millrich had already produced nine foals, including another Group 3 winner in Danerich (Danehill), but she died mere weeks after foaling her Snitzel colt, leaving him an orphan.

When he walked with purpose into the sales ring, led by a handler sporting a bright orange Marquee Stud shirt just before 6pm on a balmy Queensland evening, it was not the first time that he had been paraded before a hall of potential buyers.

He had been offered twice as a weanling; he was passed in for $55,000 on a $60,000 reserve at the 2013 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale before he was part of a fire sale of Lee Fleming’s stock at that year’s Inglis Weanling and Bloodstock Sale, where he was purchased for $45,000.

So when he entered the Magic Millions sales ring for the second occasion, this time as a yearling, it was second nature to the laidback bay. 

Right out of the gates, he surpassed his weanling market value with an initial bid of $100,000. Eventually, he ended up in the hands of Triple Crown Syndications for $120,000.

That Snitzel colt would be named Redzel and his feats, well-versed, more than made up for the disappointment of Charlie Boy’s withdrawal. A two-time Group 1 winner, Redzel became the first horse to win the world’s richest turf race, The Everest (1200m), following up a year later to become Australia’s second highest-earning racehorse of all time.

“It was simply amazing; the life experiences we all shared cannot be replicated anywhere else,” Chris Ward told ANZ Bloodstock News yesterday.

“When Mike and I purchased him from the Magic Millions, we had high hopes for him but you couldn’t dream up what he ultimately achieved. The Everest didn’t even exist at that stage. 

“To be a part of his journey was incredible, from watching him dominate on the racetrack to seeing his name and the red Triple Crown colours up on the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge was pretty surreal. At his peak, he was arguably the best sprinter in the world. Our Triple Crown motto is ‘Live The Dream’ and Redzel epitomised that ethos for our owners.”

Redzel on route to winning The Everest

For the first time since that 2014 sale, though, there is no Redzel in the stable, the veteran sprinter earning a well-deserved retirement after finishing third in the T J Smith Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Randwick in April. That means, for the Ward brothers, the hunt is on for the next potential Everest winner – a search that continues in earnest next week at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that different measures have had to be taken in order for the Sydney-based brothers to participate in next week’s auction.

“The Covid curveballs have continued so we continue to adapt our approach,” he said. “This is something that the industry as a whole has done particularly well to date and we will continue to do for a little while yet. 

“With Sydney’s Northern Beaches declared a Covid hotspot, we abandoned most of our Christmas to New Year break and hit the road to the Southern Highlands and Hunter Valley to continue on from our pre-Christmas inspections. We have just had to do our homework earlier this year and conduct more on-farm inspections so we are fully prepared for any logistical challenges that get thrown our way.”

The inspections have attracted large crowds as Sydney-based buyers and agents have flocked to regional NSW in order to attend the Magic Millions. For the Ward brothers, they have been taken by the quality of the stock that is on offer in 2021.

“We have been really impressed by the catalogue that Magic Millions have put together this year and the vendors have done an excellent job in navigating their way through the recent challenges and are presenting some really high-quality yearlings,” he said. “The Magic Millions is known for attracting the early-going, precocious types and this year looks to be no different. 

“Good horses come from all sales, but the Magics give you a month or two head start which is ideal for those early two-year-old types.”

Last year, Triple Crown left with six purchases: Daichi (Maurice), Artie’s Dreamtime (Flying Artie), Nullify (Epaulette), Northern Excel (Exceed And Excel), Pole Position (Astern) and Crime Spree (Sebring). Chris Ward is excited to unveil these horses over the next few months.

Crime Spree has returned to pre-training following his most recent spell

“The Magic Millions has always been a great source of success for us over the years and we have a number of really nice youngsters from last year’s sale just starting to come through now,” he said. 

“They seem to be pleasing the Snowdens in their work and the next few months will be really exciting. It’s like waiting to open your Christmas presents to see what you have and we are just starting to remove the ribbons now.”

Magic Millions meeting looms for quartet

Proving just how potent the January sale has been for the Triple Crown brigade is the fact their red and white colours will be carried by a number of runners at the Magic Millions raceday on Saturday week, with Poetic Charmer (Your Song), Misteed (Exceed And Excel), Smartedge (Smart Missile) and Smart Image (Smart Missile) among the names bandied about.

“The Magic Millions race day is a day where they really splash the cash around for the owners,” he said. “Most races are worth either $1 million or $2 million and there is even a maiden race worth a quarter of a million so it’s a great opportunity for the owners to get a good return. 

“We look like we will have a number of runners there on the day. Poetic Charmer is being aimed at either the Magic Millions Cup or Magic Millions Snippets and Misteed will tackle the Magic Millions Fillies & Mares race. Smartedge will contest the Cup, he has run really well in the race the last two years; both times, he was held up and he finished just a length and three-quarters from the winner. 

Poetic Charmer is one of four Triple Crown horses bound for the Magic Millions raceday – Bradley Photos

“Then we have the highly talented Smart Image who has been targeted at the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas. Thanks to striking a heavy track last start, he is at some risk of not gaining a start in the race but if he does, he has a big chance of winning it. In fact, all of our runners will be going in as live chances which is exciting for our owners.”

Smart Image is perhaps the most promising of the Triple Crown quartet as a winner of three of his five starts, remaining unbeaten away from a wet track, and in a number of ways he is reminiscent of Redzel early in his career.

There is already a striking parallel between both Redzel and Smart Image in that their respective sires – Snitzel and Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) – both won the Breeders’ Plate (Listed, 1000m), while their dams – Millrich and Shared Reflections (Umatilla) – took out the Sweet Embrace Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m). In fact, if not for Smart Missile’s shock withdrawal at the gates in 2011, both sires and both dams would have contested the Golden Slipper.

Despite both Redzel and Smart Image possessing a precocious pedigree with both winning as juveniles, another similarity is that both have been given time to excel beyond their three-year-old days, although both were thrown in the deep end early in their careers too.

For Redzel, he was beaten in the Kindergarten Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) at his second start and was tested at Group level early in his three-year-old season, but in the second half of that campaign he ran in restricted company, open handicaps or Listed races. It wasn’t until he was a four-year-old that he faced his first Group 1 challenge.

Smart Image has been on a similar trajectory, racing primarily in restricted company apart from one outing at stakes level in the Up And Coming Stakes (Gr 3, 1300m). On Saturday, he finished fifth behind Nuclear Summit (Spirit Of Boom) as a drifting favourite on the Kensington track, a heavy surface bringing him unstuck once again.

Exciting colt Smart Image made a winning return at Canterbury last month – Bradley Photos

However, the prospect of a good track up at the Gold Coast has Ward excited about the $2 million feature.

“There is no doubt Smart Image is above average,” he said.

“Not many horses start their careers like he has and he has a real X-factor about him.

“He’s a duffer on the heavy tracks but on the dry, he is very, very impressive. He possesses a fantastic turn-of-foot and I believe he still has good improvement to come as he matures and works everything out. 

“He looks to be a Groupquality horse to me. Can he become our next Group 1 winner? Only time will tell.”

Triple Crown currently has 60 or so syndicated horses on the books, the majority with Peter and Paul Snowden at Randwick. Chris Ward believes that, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Australia’s renowned thirst for racehorse ownership will continue to thrive in the coming years.

“Covid has obviously thrown up a number of challenges from left field but I have been amazed at how resilient the industry has been,” he said. “The various sales figures have held up really well and the demand for shares in horses hasn’t let up. People seem to be adapting well and it appears they want to live a little and enjoy what racehorse ownership has to offer which is unique and exhilarating. 

“We are particularly grateful and fortunate to have really loyal and supportive owners which has allowed us to operate the business as usual. I can see 2021 presenting some great opportunities and we are looking forward to taking advantage of that for our owners. More big race winners and great value buys is what we are working towards in 2021.”

Exciting future ahead as Exo goes BOOM at Wyong!

The new year got off to the perfect start at Wyong on Saturday when EXOBOOM confirmed his status as an exciting prospect with a dominant win.

The son of Exosphere turned the 1350m Maiden Plate into a procession, justifying his short odds and never giving his owners a moments worry on route to a seven length romp.

Saturday’s victory was even more special in light of the drama surrounding his last start at Kensington, when Exoboom crossed the line in first place before being demoted to second in the stewards’ room.

There was no need for Stewards’ intervention on Saturday, however, with Brandon Griffiths settling Exoboom in a lovely position on the heels of the leader.

The pair began to pour it on from the 600m mark and Exoboom was simply in a different league to his rivals, defying a touch of greenness to career away in the straight before being eased down close to home.

“That was super, I was really proud of him on Saturday and I’m sure all his owners were as well,” said a delighted Peter Snowden in his post-race debrief.

Exoboom and his strapper following his impressive victory at Wyong – Bradley Photos

“I wanted to see how he went on a genuine heavy track, the reason being I think he is a horse who can race on through the winter months. He’s one we can think about setting for a program up in Brisbane.

“I know he’s only won a Maiden, but it’s clear to see he’s above average. I want to give him every chance to be the best horse he can be.

“If he was to have a break now he can come back for those decent races up in Brisbane. We have a nice horse and we need to look after him.”

It’s not often horses win with that kind of authority and there is certainly an exciting future ahead for Exoboom. Congratulations to Snowden Racing and all his owners on a memorable success!

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 –

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


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.


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 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