Sydney trainer Peter Snowden collects National Sprint with Snippets Land with double on Black Opal Stakes day

By Lee Gaskin
Sports reporter at The Canberra Times

Snippets Land wins the Mercedes Benz Canberra National Sprint from Mighty Lucky. Photo: Matt Bedford

Two runners, two winners – it was a perfect 100 per cent success rate for leading Sydney trainer Peter Snowden on Black Opal Stakes day.

While he didn’t have any contenders in either the Canberra Cup or the Black Opal Stakes, Snowden still produced a winning double at Thoroughbred Park on Sunday.

Hugh Bowman on Snippets Land acknowledges the crowd after winning the Canberra National Sprint (Photo Matt Bedford)

Snippets Land wins the Fourth race of the day. Jockey Hugh Bowman on Snippets Land acknowledges the crowd after winning the fourth race of the day. Photo: Matt Bedford (pictured left)

Snippets Land ($5.30) delivered the goods in the $120,000 listed National Sprint (1400 metres) after red-hot favourite Courtza King ($1.30) had earlier gotten the day off to the ideal start in the Maiden Plate (1200m).

Jockey Hugh Bowman timed his run to perfection aboard Snippets Land, taking the lead with 300m to go to hold off a fast-finishing Mighty Lucky and Darciwood.

Mighty Lucky had the support of the punters when the National Sprint effectively became a set weights race.

All runners in the National Sprint carried 58 kilograms after the withdrawal of original top weight Laser Hawk (60kg) and the Hawkes family’s Leebaz (58kg) elevated the rest of the field up from 54kg.

The change occurred under Australian Racing rule 103 (2), which states if the top weight withdraws, then all weights are increased until at least one runner reaches 58kg.

Snowden was against the move, which wouldn’t have happened if it was a benchmark race and not a black-type one.

“I didn’t agree with it, I thought they should have rehandicapped the race,” Snowden said. “It wasn’t a fair decision to bring everyone else up to the same weight. Saying that, he won with 58kg on his back so he was able to do the job.”

Snowden is a big supporter of Canberra’s premier race day.

This is the first season he has gone out on his own with his son Paul after previously working with the Darley stables.

It was the fourth win from 11 starts for Snippets Land and takes his career prizemoney over $100,000.

Snowden will consider a couple of different options for the four-year-old during the autumn carnival and was pleased with Bowman’s ride.

“He rode it beautifully,” Snowden said. “He put the horse in the right position and was able to make his move at the right time. That’s why he’s one of the best going around.”

Bowman said the steady tempo suited Snippets Land and allowed him to kick strongly on the back straight.

“I thought if they don’t go gallop it’s not going to suit us, but they went a nice, genuine pace,” Bowman said. “It was set up nicely for him and he was dominant. When I really asked him to stretch, he responded beautifully.”