Recently resuming jockey Damian Browne added a hat-trick of wins to his commanding riding record for the season at Eagle Farm last Saturday, Peter Snowden’s wonderfully consistent galloper Pinwheel giving the hoop his final winning ride for the day.
Having earlier saluted aboard Craig Stott’s determined six-year-old Mystical Grey in the opening Tattersall’s Tiara Day race and then again with the Robert Heathcote-trained Excellantes in a 3YO QTIS Handicap, Browne found himself in the winner’s stall for a third time last Saturday after winning the $175,000 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) with raging $2.90 favourite Pinwheel.
Five-year-old Lonhro gelding Pinwheel has become known as ‘Mr Consistency’ over their 22-start career to date, the Darley-owned sprinter having finished out of the money just three times.
Of their consistency on the track, Snowden said it had a lot to do with not only the horse’s ability but the ability of its connections to choose the right races.
“A lot of it comes down to placing them where they can win,” Snowden said.
“Don’t go out of your comfort zone.
“My favourite saying is ‘little fish are sweet’ because if you aim at the right races, if you don’t win you will go close nine times out of 10 with a horse like this.”
A dependable black-type performer, Pinwheel added a ninth win to their name with a gallant run and strong finish in the WJ Healy.
After looking to have been caught out by John Thompson’s Metallurgical ($7.50) who surged to the lead on the straight, Pinwheel originally found themselves caught up but dug deep to challenge and run them down to post a three-quarter length victory.
The Peter Moody-trained Swiss Rose ($21) crossed for third a further half-length back, one ahead of Robert Heathcote’s Stradbroke Handicap fourth placegetter Buffering.
“The horse was good enough to do it,” Snowden said.
“We were just lucky the horse had a bit on them.
“He is a class act.”
Browne was also full of praise for Pinwheel who completed his Eagle Farm treble on the weekend.
“It was a terrific effort for the horse to pick up so quickly,” he said.
“He’s a lovely horse, real honest, genuine.”
Twelve months ago Pinwheel finished over five lengths away second to boom sprinter Hay List in the WJ Healy Stakes, but with John McNair’s Group 1 winner out of the picture this year Pinwheel was able to bring home the bikkies.
Pinwheel this year, however, will not continue on to defend their title in next month’s Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton, a race they won last year following their WJ Healy second place, instead being sent for a short spell before the spring in Melbourne.
“His next race will be in Melbourne in about five weeks time,” confirmed Snowden.
WJ Healy Runner-up Metallurgical, on the other hand has emerged as a likely Ramornie runner.
If Redoute’s Choice four-year-old Metallurgical does continue onto the Ramornie on July 14, they will face a tough field including dual Stradbroke winner Black Piranha and last Friday’s upset Takeover Target Stakes conqueror Title.
While realistic over the horse’s ability saying Pinwheel was not a Group 1 winner, Snowden did hold high hopes of more black-type success in the upcoming spring season.
“He’s an easy horse to train,” Snowden stated.
“He’s athletic, a good track worker and good in the stable.
“The trick is picking the mark with him.
“He’s not a genuine Group 1 horse but these sort of races are perfect for him.”