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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.”

Racing NSW Announces $30m Prizemoney Increases & Record Infrastructure Investment

Racing NSW today announced a further $30 million in prizemoney increases along with record investment in infrastructure and an additional share of prizemoney for both equine welfare and stable staff.

As detailed below, these latest prizemoney announcements totalling $30 million will see total prizemoney paid in NSW increase to $358 million per annum. This is an increase of $239 million, or more than triple the prizemoney levels from 2012.

Minimum prizemoney increases

Minimum prizemoney for all levels of Country racing have been increased as follows:

  • Picnic minimum prizemoney increases from $5,000 to $7,000
  • Non-TAB minimum prizemoney increases from $10,000 to $12,000
  • Sky 2 minimum prizemoney increases from $15,000 to $16,000
  • Country TAB minimum prizemoney increases from $25,000 to $27,000

In addition to the above minimum prizemoney increases, two races at every Country TAB race meeting will now be restricted to NSW Country trained horses only and will carry prizemoney of $30,000. Two races at every Country Showcase meeting will also be restricted to NSW Country trained horses and will carry prizemoney of $35,000. At some meetings this will be increased to three races.

Additional prizemoney will also be offered in the Provincial sector, with two races at each Provincial race meeting carrying prizemoney of $45,000. One of these races will be restricted to Provincial trained horses only and the other will be restricted to Midway trained horses only.

To build on the success of the Highway and Midway races, prizemoney for these races will increase from $100,000 to $120,000 per race at Saturday Metropolitan race meetings.

Spring feature race increases

In addition to the above minimum prizemoney increases, a number of feature races in spring have also received increases in prizemoney as follows:

  • The Concorde Stakes will increase from $160,000 to $500,000
  • The Shorts will increase from $500,000 to $1 million
  • The Premiere Stakes will increase from $500,000 to $1 million
  • The Kosciuszko will increase from $1.3 million to $2 million
  • The Sydney Stakes will increase from $500,000 to $2 million
  • The Nature Strip stakes will increase from $1 million to $3 million

There will also be two new races added to the spring carnival. A $1 million race will be added to Everest Day, called the Five Diamond Prelude, over 1500m for 5yos only, providing a lead up for the Five Diamonds.

Also, a new $500,000 race will be added to Big Dance Day, called the Little Dance, for those horses eligible, but unable to gain a start in The Big Dance.

New $6 million Sportsbet Sydney Sprint Series bonus

The Everest is the feature of the NSW Spring Racing Carnival and the popularity of The Everest has quickly seen the surrounding sprint races develop significant interest and betting turnover.

To further grow these sprint races across spring, a new $6 million bonus fully sponsored by Sportsbet will be paid to the horses winning the most points across the following six races. These races will be known as the Sportsbet Sydney Sprint Series:

Race NameDateTrackDistance
Concorde Stakes3 Sep 22Randwick1000m
The Shorts17 Sep 22Randwick1100m
Premiere Stakes1 Oct 22Randwick1200m
The Everest15 Oct 22Randwick1200m
Sydney Stakes15 Oct 22Randwick1200m
Nature Strip Stakes29 Oct 22Randwick1300m

Points will be awarded based on 5 points for 1st, 4 points for 2nd, 3 points for 3rd, 2 points for 4th and 1 point for 5th in each of the first 5 races. Double points will be awarded for the Nature Strip Stakes on Golden Eagle Day. It will also be a condition of the bonus that horses must have competed in at least 3 races in the series to be eligible.

Autumn feature race increases

There have also been increases in prizemoney for key races during the Sydney Autumn Carnival:

  • The Queen Elizabeth Stakes will increase from $4 million to $5 million
  • The Doncaster Mile will increase from $3 million to $4 million
  • The TJ Smith Stakes will increase from $2.5 million to $3 million
  • The Galaxy will increase from $700,000 to $1 million
  • The Ranvet Stakes will increase from $700,000 to $1 million

Infrastructure funding

Also announced today was an infrastructure project fund of $125 million that will be delivered by Racing NSW over the next two years. This project fund includes $70 million in grants received from the NSW State Government who continue to support the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Industry participants and $55 million set aside by Racing NSW.

These projects range from construction of stables, new training tracks, course proper works, customer facilities, raceday amenities and jockeys rooms right across the state.

Racing NSW will continue to work with race clubs and participants regarding the allocation of these funds.

Change in prizemoney distribution

In July 2012 Racing NSW introduced the 1.5% strappers bonus, being the first state in Australia to do so. This bonus provides a significant reward for the industry’s lowest paid workers, letting them share in the success of their stables. As part of announcements today, Racing NSW will be increasing the strappers bonus from 1.5% to 2% of prizemoney.

In October 2016 Racing NSW introduced the Equine Welfare Fund which receives 1% of all prizemoney paid, being the first state in Australia to do so. These funds are used to care for, retrain and rehome NSW Thoroughbred racehorses. This Equine Welfare Fund share of prizemoney will increase to 1.5%.

The above prizemoney increases and changes in the distribution of prizemoney will come into effect from 1 September 2022. A schedule of all increases is attached to this release.

Racing NSW Chairman, Russell Balding AO said: “NSW Country racing is the bedrock of our industry, it is important therefore that we ensure the ongoing viability of country racing and the sustainability of our country trainers.

“Total prizemoney for Everest Day will now be a staggering $21.8 million which far exceeds any other race meeting in Australia and cements Everest Day’s place on the International Stage of premier racing,” Mr Balding AO added.

SCHEDULE OF PRIZEMONEY INCREASES

DESCRIPTIONCURRENT
P/MONEY
NEW P/MONEYRACE INCREASE
MINIMUM PRIZEMONEY
Picnic minimum prizemoney5,0007,0002,000
Country Non-TAB minimum prizemoney10,00012,0002,000
Country Sky2 minimum prizemoney15,00016,0001,000
Country TAB minimum prizemoney25,00027,0002,000
Country trained only – 2 races per program, possibly 325,00030,0005,000
Showcase country trained only – 2 races per program, possibly 330,00035,0005,000
Prov only and Midway races – 2 races per Provincial program40,00045,0005,000
Midway increase100,000120,00020,000
Highway increase100,000120,00020,000
SPRING CARNIVAL
Concorde Stakes160,000500,000340,000
The Shorts500,0001,000,000500,000
Premiere Stakes500,0001,000,000500,000
Sydney Stakes500,0002,000,0001,500,000
Winner’s Stakes1,000,0003,000,0002,000,000
Kosciuszko1,300,0002,000,000700,000
Five Diamond Prelude1,000,0001,000,000
Four Pillars150,000500,000350,000
The Little Dance50,000500,000450,000
Other Big Dance Day races500,000500,000
Sportsbet Sydney Sprint Series bonus6,000,0006,000,000
AUTUMN CARNIVAL
Queen Elizabeth Stakes4,000,0005,000,0001,000,000
Doncaster Mile3,000,0004,000,0001,000,000
TJ Smith Stakes2,500,0003,000,000500,000
The Galaxy700,0001,000,000300,000
The Ranvet700,0001,000,000300,000

The King leads home a Triple Crown quinella at Gosford

The application of blinkers worked the oracle for promising 2YO KARUTA KING at Gosford yesterday as he led home a Triple Crown quinella in the Maiden Plate for Colts, Geldings & Entires.

By Sebring and out of a daughter of Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Karuta Queen, Karuta King was forced to do it the hard way from his tricky draw and was posted three-wide throughout the six furlong contest.  

Despite the tough run in transit, the $60,000 yearling purchase loomed into contention menacingly around the turn for home and hit the front early in the straight, before digging deep to deny the late surge of his Peter & Paul Snowden-trained stablemate Gotta Fly.

“He’s got the makings of a nice horse I reckon,” said a delighted winning jockey Robbie Dolan.

“He doesn’t really know what he’s doing just yet. Once I got to the front, he pricked his ears a little bit, but once I got stuck up him he really started to lengthen again.

“There was a lot of merit in the win. He’s still figuring out what it’s all about and I definitely think his best is ahead of him.”

Robbie Dolan

The performances of Karuta King and Gotta Fly were made all the more impressive by conceding both age and experience to a number of their rivals in yesterday’s contest, including the third placegetter, Secret Hunter.

Both Karuta King and Gotta Fly were purchased by Chris & Michael Ward at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2021. That means that, of the five yearlings purchased on the Gold Coast last January, four have run, three have won, two are stakes performers and the other has placed – All in their 2YO seasons!

Karuta King’s owners were all smiles after his Maiden success – Bradley Photos

Yesterday’s quinella also made it a fruitful couple of days for the Triple Crown team, after the fellow Snowden-trained RANGES landed the time-honoured Ramornie Handicap less than 24 hours earlier.

Congratulations to our owners in both Karuta King and Gotta Fly on a fantastic result!

Ramornie In Range For Snowden Sprinters

RANGES has always been an honest customer but co-trainer Peter Snowden attributes his rise to stakes level in the past 12 months to finding the right piece of headgear.

Snowden concedes he was a bit of a thinker, and probably waited a bit for his rivals, and that often cost him a shot at winning races.

The gelding didn’t react to blinkers or winkers in the way the Snowdens hoped but a decision to try out a visor has proven to be a masterstroke and a large part of the reason he’s lining up in a race like Wednesday’s Listed $200,000 Grafton District Club Ramornie Handicap (1200m).

And as one of the major hopes.

It was prior to his win in the Aberdeen Cup at Muswellbrook last year when a visor, which is like a blinker but with a slight opening on the side, was applied and since that day he’s won three city races including the Listed Hinkler Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm a month ago.

“He’s changed completely since we put the visor on him,’’ Snowden said.

“Blinkers were too much, he pulled too hard. When we put winkers on him he laughed at us.

“With the visor on he can see them there and it surges him on. You can see in his racing style he gets his head right out, it shows he’s trying, and when he sees them coming he sticks it out further.

“It’s just the perfect tool to get the best out of him.”

The Snowden partnership has won two Ramornies, with Signore Fox in 2020 and Calanda in 2017, while Snowden also prepared Pinwheel (2010) and Jerezana (2011) to win for Darley.

It’s a testament to the effect of the visor on Ranges that he can be considered $7 second favourite with TAB in a Ramornie behind his stablemate King Of Sparta ($5).

With due respect to Ranges, Snowden said King Of Sparta is probably more naturally talented but wet tracks are his kryptonite so an improving surface at Grafton will be in his favour.

The duo contested the Group 3 Healey Stakes (1200m) on June 25 with Ranges running third and King Of Sparta, first-up from a break, a bit over a length behind him in sixth.

Snowden said King Of Sparta had excuses for that unplaced effort and is expecting him to be very competitive at Grafton.

“I thought he was okay. He was a little bit fresh and a little bit keen, too close early,’’ he said.

“He wasn’t getting much room at all in the straight, he’s a horse that likes to see daylight.

“The last 100 yards was a bit plain but Tommy (Berry) said he gave up the ghost. Had he got out on the corner it’s a different story but being bottled away and jammed up he said he didn’t get clear air until the last 100m and it was too late.”

Ranges finished a gutsy third in the Group 3 W J Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm last start

King Of Sparta has drawn 10 while Ranges, who races more on the pace, jumps from 14 (prior to scratchings) and Snowden said given the latter has drawn around where a lot of the speed in the race is he will have his chance.

“He’s really doing it in style now. He did feel the track the other day, he’s definitely better with a bit of give in the ground,’’ he said.

“They always run that race at a good pace so he should come across hopefully into a good spot.

“He showed the other day he’s right up there with them.”

By Ray Hickson/Racing NSW

Snowden’s stalwart looking to cause a boilover

Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden may have to rely on stable stalwart Poetic Charmer at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The father and son training partnership had entered four starters for the meeting but have already sent the handy Forzanini to Caulfield in pursuit of a drier racing surface.

Stoical and Miss Dior are entered for Randwick but with the very heavy track surface on Saturday, the stable’s only certain starter is Poetic Charmer in the Bowermans Handicap (1200m).

Poetic Charmer, a rising eight-year-old, is resuming from a spell and is contesting his 45th race. The gelding has won six races, he’s been placed in another 19 and has earned more than $550,000 for Triple Crown Syndications.

Peter Snowden said Poetic Charmer is coming up nicely for his winter campaign and won’t have any problems handling the track surface which is rated a heavy 10 late on Thursday.

“We are happy to run Poetic Charmer, he gets through the heavy ground okay,” Snowden said.

Poetic Charmer (left) in winning action at Randwick – Bradley Photos

“I thought he trialled really well the other day (second to stablemate Forzanini over 1050m at Randwick) and he has had a jump out as well.

“He is fairly forward, his fresh form is not too bad and he will be competitive.”

Peter SNOWDEN

Poetic Charmer is at generous odds of $23 for his comeback race with the John O’Shea-trained Waihaha Falls firm favourite at $2.70.

By Ray Thomas

Ranges raises the bar again with a first Group placing

Triple Crown’s recent Stakes winner RANGES provided another reminder of how he earned the moniker ‘Mr Consistent’ with a typically gutsy third in the Group 3 W J Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The son of Shooting To Win was having his first crack at Group level and more than held his own, showing his customary tenacity to be beaten less than a length in the $175,000 contest.

Ranges had taken out the Listed Hinkler Handicap on his previous start and finished third, beaten only 0.18L, in the Listed Ortensia Stakes the start before that, which means that his three runs so far this preparation have all returned a Stakes placing as a minimum.

The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained five-year-old will now head to the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July 13 for his next assignment, where he will attempt to take his career earnings past the half a million mark.

Ranges’ Group 3 placing capped a superb Brisbane Winter Carnival for the Triple Crown Team, which saw his stablemate MAZU land the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 in May.

Congratulations to Snowden Racing, jockey Ryan Maloney and all of Ranges’ owners on another terrific effort!

Ranges chasing back-to-back stakes wins

Peter and Paul Snowden will have a strong hand in the W J Healy Stakes with the race favourite and a last-start winner.

From winning his maiden at Muswellbrook to capturing a last start stakes win, unassuming gelding RANGES has already surpassed his stable’s modest expectations.

It took the five-year-old eight runs to win his first race and another 18 to snare his first metropolitan victory at last year’s stand-alone Kembla Grange meeting.

He has continued to improve since, graduating to black-type company with a third in the Ortensia Stakes at Scone in May before landing a Listed success at Eagle Farm two weeks ago.

Co-trainer Peter Snowden is the first to admit he never thought Ranges had the potential to develop into a stakes-class galloper.

“I never saw that in him at all,” Snowden said.

“He has just been a real credit to himself really. He puts his hand up and has a crack every time he goes out.”

Ranges is a last-start Stakes winner!

Ranges will have to raise the bar again when he steps out in the Group 3 W J Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday, alongside stablemate King Of Sparta, who is the early favourite for the sprint.

The winner of the Magic Millions Guineas in January, King Of Sparta has been competitive against the likes of Group 1 performers Home Affairs and Paulele and has an outstanding fresh record.

From a low draw in barrier five, Snowden sees Saturday’s feature as an attractive target.

“It’s a nice race for him,” Snowden said.

“He is in good shape and he will run well.”

King Of Sparta was at $2.90 with TAB fixed odds on Thursday with Ranges rated a $10 chance.

By Racing & Sports

Ranges reigns in Brisbane with a first Stakes success

The incredible rise of RANGES shows no sign of stopping after the loveable chestnut secured a first Stakes success in the Listed Hinkler Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Triple Crown’s hugely progressive five-year-old was handed his first interstate mission after resuming with a career best third in the Listed Ortensia Stakes at Scone, but as has been the case for the past year, Ranges once again took his form to a new level with a comfortable half-length success over Simply Fly in the Sunshine State.

Saturday’s win was the seventh of his career and took his prizemoney haul beyond the $400,000 mark, an achievement made all the more impressive given that he was allocated a Benchmark rating of 70 after landing the Aberdeen Cup at Muswellbrook this time last year.

Ranges is now rated in the 90s and will head to the W J Healy Stakes in two weeks’ time for his next assignment, where he will bid to follow in the hoofprints of his former stablemates BRAVE SONG and DOTHRAKI, who landed the Group 3 contest for the Red Army in 2019 and 2015 respectively.

Photo: The now retired Brave Song won the Group 3 W J Healy Stakes in 2019

Ranges’ rate of progress was not lost on winning jockey Tommy Berry, who knows the son of Shooting To Win inside out having now steered him to three of his seven career victories.

“I went down to Muswellbrook to ride this guy twelve months ago, so seeing him here winning a Stakes race isn’t what I expected,” he told Sky Racing after the win.

Photo: Ranges and Tommy Berry return to scale after landing the Listed Hinkler Handicap – Michael McInally Photography

“But I said to Pete [Snowden] “we might be alright here” after his work on Tuesday morning. He’s just come of age; it’s taken him a long time but he’s relaxing better and doing things right.

“It was a good effort today because we were left in front a long way out. He toughed it out well.

“It’s only going to get tougher for him from now on, but I think even if this was the last race he won, and I don’t think it will be, these owners will be pretty happy still.”

Photo: Ranges’ owners celebrate his seventh career win in style – Michael McInally Photography

Another person to pay tribute to Ranges’ enthusiastic group of owners was winning co-trainer Peter Snowden, who couldn’t hide his delight in his post-race report.

“I’m so proud of this horse and what he did on Saturday was a huge highlight for me. He’s come such a long way,” he said.

“That was the big league up there and his first trip away from home. He had to work hard for it too. It wasn’t an easy race and there was plenty of speed on. He had to chase that fast speed and was in front a long way from home, so he’s done a great job.

“He’s a black-type winner now. I never though I’d be saying that, but such has been the progress in him and the new lease of life that he has. He thinks he’s something special now.

“I’m really happy for everyone who stuck by him.”

Photo: Ranges and Tommy Berry power to Listed success at Eagle Farm – Michael McInally Photography

Ranges’ win was the sixth Stakes level success for the Triple Crown team since February, which is double the number of any other syndicator during the same period.

The red army is in red hot form, so increase your chances of owning a Stakes class horse and join Triple Crown in racehorse ownership!

Congratulations to Tommy Berry, Snowden Racing and all of Ranges’ owners on a memorable success!