Premier Sydney trainer Peter Snowden may have uncovered yet another spring star and 2011 Golden Rose hopeful after Pied A Terre maintained their unbeaten record with a big win at Flemington on the weekend.
Last Saturday Ad Valorem gelding Pied A Terre saluted as the odds-on favourite in the ACG Security Handicap (1400m) to beat home the John Sadler-trained Motorised by three-quarters of a length.
It was the two-year-old’s second career win from as many starts after they earlier won over 1200 metres in a 2YO handicap at Moonee Valley on July 2.
The strong performance has Snowden looking towards the upcoming Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, the horseman hopeful that Pied A Terre can join the likes of his stable aces Sepoy and Helmet by winning at the highest level.
“The Golden Rose might be an option,” Melbourne foreman Paul Snowden said on Saturday.
“I think he’ll run a mile on his ear, but the (Caulfield) Guineas might come a bit quick.
“He’s still only two, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
“The horse has a good constitution, he’s very quiet in himself and well mannered and I wouldn’t say that he couldn’t do it but we’ll leave it up to the horse.
“Everything he does at home is so effortless.
“He’s got a big stride and just cruises through his work.”
Snowden and the Darley team dominated the juvenile races last season, scoring victory in all five of the two-year-old elite levels.
They are now on track to return to the racing arena this spring carnival with the same crop of rising three-year-olds and target more glory starting with the opening Group 1 race of the new season, the $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Racecourse on September 10.
Last week the Australian Turf Club (ATC) took the 2011 Golden Rose first acceptances, with 132 horses making up the early entries for the Sydney Spring Carnival’s richest race.
“The first acceptances boast the full complement of stars from the rising three-year-old crop,” the ATC’s Executive General Manager of Racing Matt Rudolph said.
Among the headline first acceptors were this year’s Golden Slipper trifecta, the Golden Rose being the spring equivalent to this two-year-olds showdown.
Golden Slipper (and Blue Diamond Stakes) winner Sepoy along with runner-up Mosheen and third-placegetter Elite Falls are all in the running to take out this year’s Golden Rose.
Snowden also has his AJC Sires Produce – Champagne Stakes double champion Helmet on way to a Golden Rose run, the Exceed And Excel colt $5.50 second favourite in the early Rose odds behind Sepoy.
“Peter Snowden and Darley hold the key to the race having own every Group 1 race for this crop and I’m sure they will be looking to keep that record intact,” Rudloph said.
Another top Golden Rose first acceptor and early top pick in the betting is the Anthony Cummings-trained Smart Missile.
The only horse to have defeated Sepoy to date, Smart Missile beat the superstar home in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in March before their sensational scratching from the Golden Slipper at the barriers.
Despite not being a definite final acceptor for the Golden Rose field, if Sepoy does have the Group 1 run in Sydney before targeting the richest of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, then the Rose will become a thrilling rematch between him and Smart Missile.
“Smart Missile is the X-Factor coming into the spring and as always the early season stakes races such as the The Rosebud on Saturday week will unearth some exciting new contenders,” Rudolph commented.
“The Melbourne two-year-old form played a significant hand during the two-year-old Triple Crown races in Sydney so it wouldn’t surprise to see an interstate assault this year, particularly given where the race now falls in the calendar (a fortnight later than previous runnings).”
Smart Missile will be ridden by Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss in the Golden Rose.
Saturday week more Golden Rose hopefuls will stake their claims with the first official preparatory race towards the million feature taking place at Randwick on August 6 – the $100,000 Listed The Rosebud (1200m).
Meanwhile, this Friday at Werribee Sepoy will kick off his spring campaign with a trial before resuming in the $100,000 Listed Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 13.