San Domenico Crucial To Snowden Pair’s Golden Rose Campaign

Few are seriously entertaining Champagne Stakes winner Captivant as a winning chance in Saturday’s Group 3 $160,000 XXXX San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Kembla Grange but co-trainer Peter Snowden says the race is crucial to his spring goals.

And even though the market doesn’t agree it’s the promising MAZU that Snowden says holds the mantle of the stable’s best winning hope.

Captivant, $26 with TAB on Friday, hasn’t raced since his Group 1 win back in April and is kicking off at the short trip because the plan is to have him third-up into the $1m Golden Rose (1400m) on September 25.

“For the Golden Rose I’d like to get two runs into him so that’s why I pushed a bit to get this one in,’’ Snowden said.

“They are going to be too nippy for him but all we want to see is him good late.

“Fresh he is still capable but he’ll be competitive in the Run To The Rose then you’d like to think he’d be at his best for (the Golden Rose).”

The colt has trialled just the once this time in, that was last week where he ran sixth behind Converge in a 1000m heat at Randwick.

He warmed up late to be placed in the Skyline Stakes when resuming in the autumn before finishing fifth in the Golden Slipper behind Stay Inside.

Snowden said Captivant couldn’t look better after his break and is expecting a bit of tempo to allow him to attack the line.

“He should get an economical run early, they are going to go quick so as long as he can keep in touch without having to be pushed and allow him to get home nice and solid we’re happy,’’ he said.

Captivant is $17 in TAB’s all-in Golden Rose market.

Mazu has three lengths to make up on Paulele for finishing fifth behind the Godolphin colt in the Rosebud three weeks ago but Snowden said he can improve.

A combination of a kinder barrier and track with some give in it will allow Mazu, $34 with TAB, to produce a performance like when he was unlucky not to beat Shaquero and Tiger Of Malay in the Group 3 Pago Pago earlier his year.

Mazu flashes home up the rail to finish a luckles third in the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes – Bradley Photos

“He’s come on nicely, I don’t think his run the other day was too bad,’’ Snowden said.

“You take the winner out and the margin from second to him is only three parts of a length so he wasn’t beaten that far.

“He was good late, he wobbled a bit on the corner, and had a good blow after it. I’m quietly confident and wet ground will not hurt him at all. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t improve on that first run.”

By Ray Hickson