After a sensational start to the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes at Eagle Farm’s Queensland Oaks Day, Hot Snitzel was able to secure a very comfortable victory, possibly ending the dominance of Peter Snowden and the Darley Racing operation in the two-year-old features.
In the final run for juveniles heading towards next Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 TJ Smith (1600m), Gerald Ryan’s well-tried Snitzel gelding Hot Snitzel ran the perfect trial to indicate the youngster may finally be able to break his elite level duck.
A second before the field for the $250,000 Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) jumped today, one of Snowden’s top chances Free Wheeling reared badly in the barriers.
Leaping straight up vertical in the air, the last-start Champagne Classic winner dislodged jockey Corey Brown, before the colt fell on their back and got caught in under the barriers.
Following the race, Queensland Racing’s chief steward Wade Birch declared the controversial decision that Free Wheeling was to be declared a runner in the race despite the replay of the incident revealing the horse had reared before the gates opened.
In a minor miracle, Corey Brown was uninjured after falling from the horse and was reported to be just a bit sore in his elbow.
A further blow to the Snowden and Darley team was that race favourite Benfica also didn’t perform up to expectations today and never featured in the race.
Despite the melodramatic start, there was a race to be run and eventual winning hoop Hugh Bowman focused his attention on getting Hot Snitzel into a prime position.
Early on the Paul Messara-trained Mahisara, previously undefeated in their two other career starts, crossed from the far outside barrier 12 to take up the lead while Shanghai Bund fell into second spot.
Bowman gave Hot Snitzel a beautiful ride, settling the horse in a lovely position third on the fence.
Mahisara maintained the lead until the final few hundred metres, when Hot Snitzel raced up quickly to snare the lead before storming away to an emphatic victory.
Annihilating their rivals with ease, Hot Snitzel found the line four lengths clear of Todd Austin’s Playtime while Mahisara just held on to finish third ahead of the Graeme Rogerson-trained Dowager Queen.
Today was Hot Snitzel’s third career win from eight starts and came off the back of a game third to Free Wheeling in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m).
Bowman had plenty of praise for Hot Snitzel after the win.
“It was unknown ground but he settled beautifully,” Bowman said.
“The pace was strong and it suited him.
“I was able to keep him really happy and uninterrupted.
“He took the race by his hands and he was great.”
The hoop also believed that the big win will have given the youngster some confidence, making him a genuine chance to back up in seven days time and defy Darley a fifth straight Group 1 win in the 2YO features this year.
“I think he’s just a bit of a horse that lacks a bit of confidence,” he said.
“I’m sure he’ll come back next week and on that run I’d be pretty confident he can come back and win again.”