Podium Finish Snowden’s Rosebud Pass Mark For Mazu

The bar has been set at a top three finish by co-trainer Peter Snowden for promising colt MAZU to prove he can be a force at Group 1 level this spring when he returns at Randwick on Saturday.

And Snowden said it’s how the three-year-old handles himself from a tricky barrier that will be crucial to his chances in the Listed $150,000 Fujitsu General Rosebud (1100m).

Mazu showed talent in his first preparation and hasn’t raced since a fast-finishing third in the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes in March.

Mazu flashed home up the inside to finish a luckless third in the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes – Bradley Photos

“If he runs in the first three it’s a good pass and I’d be expecting nothing less,’’ Snowden said.

“If he finishes further back than that we’d be in a bit of trouble heading to the better races. But I’m confident he can run in the first three and if he does that we can look to the Run To the Rose.

“He’s not fully wound up although he has had two trials. We are looking at races further on but still want to see him be competitive in a race like this.”

Mazu, an $8 chance with TAB on Thursday for his return and at $26 in the Golden Rose, led all the way in his debut win at Canterbury but was ridden more conservatively in the Pago Pago.

Snowden said the horse has matured so he hopes jockey Kerrin McEvoy, who rode Mazu in his latest trial, can find a spot in the first half from barrier nine of 10 or he could be forced to press on.

“I didn’t really want to draw there,’’ he said.

“He has got gate speed but I was trying to teach him to settle a bit better this preparation. It was the only fault he had, he was in a hurry to do everything.

“He led by default at Canterbury because he drew wide but last start we tried to hold him up and he travelled quite strongly behind the leaders and didn’t settle as well as we would have liked.

“It’s going to be pretty hard to come back from that draw because there’s not a lot of speed there, there’s two or three that will roll forward but the rest are midfield. If we can’t slot in we’ll go forward and sit outside the lead but I’d like to settle him just off the speed.”

By Ray Hickson – Racing NSW