One of Sydney’s leading trainers Peter Snowden will saddle up his first ever two-mile runner on Saturday when his progressive four-year-old Adroitly takes on a crack field in the 2012 Stayers Cup at Rosehill Gardens.
The Octagonal gelding won the Listed WJ McKell Cup (2400m) at Randwick two starts back before their close last-start fourth when beaten a length by Gai Waterhouse’s tough stayer Reuben Percival in the Listed Winter Cup (2400m) at Warwick Farm on June 2.
On Saturday Adroitly will get the chance to prove themselves over more distance, and to turn the tables on their last start conqueror, when they take on Reuben Percival again this time in the $100,000 Listed Sydney Markets Limited Stayers Cup (3200m).
In the early Stayers Cup odds at bookies around the country defending champion Reuben Percival, looking to bounce back after their distant fifth to Lights Of Heaven in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday, leads the markets as the dominant odds-on favourite paying around $1.90.
Occupying the second line of Stayers Cup betting at a price of around $3.20 is then Adroitly, drawn in barrier seven of the nine horse field.
Adroitly emerged as a genuine staying type last September when putting seven and a half lengths on Diamond Jim to win a 2800-metre Benchmark 75 at Canterbury, a distance they also ran a good fourth to Norsqui over at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day last year.
Not only will Saturday be the horse’s first look at the 3200-metres, the same distance the classic Melbourne Cup clash is run over on the first Tuesday of November each year, but it will also be the Snowden’s first go at winning a two mile race.
“I’ve never had a runner (in a 3200m race),” Snowden said.
While he knows Adroitly, who has won five of their 21 career starts to date, is no superstar he does believe they are an honest galloper with plenty of ability.
“I quite enjoy training him,” he said.
“He really loves his work.
“He’s no superstar but he’s an honest horse and I enjoy the different sort of training.”
Snowden believes getting Adroitly up to the traditional cup distance will be the key on Saturday rating him as a genuine chance.
“He has been looking for this (distance),” Snowden said.
“It’s a race I’ve been wanting to run him in for quite a while.
“His last two runs have been good and he has run over 2800 metres before during the carnival in Melbourne and was solid there so I’m looking forward to running him over the 3200.”
One person well equipped for the Stayers Cup distance is Adroitly’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy, winner of the 2003 Sydney Cup with Honor Babe and most famously the 200 Melbourne Cup with Brew.
“I like the staying races and have got a pretty good record in a few of the big Cup races,” McEvoy said.
“I enjoy riding in them.”
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