Darley four-year-old Ambidexter kicked off his spring campaign in style at Rosehill when winning the Group 2 2012 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) in a tight finish ahead of Fat Al.
It was a case of revenge for the son of Commands who went down to Fat Al in the Frank Packer Plate in the autumn.
With Nash Rawiller in the saddle, Fat Al set the early pace and a good tempo with Kerrin McEvoy riding Ambidexter positively in fourth position.
As they hit the straight the pair got in a neck-and-neck tussle before Ambidexter was able to fight clear to claim victory by a long neck for his third win from 12 starts.
Trainer Peter Snowden was confident heading in to the contest but admitted it was a much-needed victory for a horse that had always shown plenty of ability.
“He needed a win. He’s run a few places…it was good to see him get up and win one today,” Snowden said.
Ambidexter contested three-year-old staying races in the autumn but Snowden said the key to winning this campaign was keeping him to 1600 metres.
“I’m going to keep him back to a mile this time, I just felt last time getting to 2000m stretched him too long and maybe took a bit of ping out of him,” he said.
The talented four-year-old produced fourth-place finishes in both the Rosehill and Randwick Guineas during the autumn and Snowden said he is likely to another chance in the top grade this spring.
Snowden pointed to the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) as a likely next start before chasing Group 1 glory in either the Epsom Handicap at Randwick or the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield next month.
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Theo Marks Stakes 2012 – Results
|1||6||AMBIDEXTER||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||7||56kg||$7|
|2||5||FAT AL||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||0.2L||8||56kg||$3.60F|
|3||4||DYSTOPIA||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||5.5L||1||56kg||$4.40|
|4||3||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||Glyn Schofield||6.4L||6||57kg||$4.60|
|5||7||LEVI’S CHOICE||John P Thompson||Christian Reith||7L||3||56kg||$81|
|6||2||FAST CLIP||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||7.9L||5||57.5kg||$6|
|7||8||WATERFORD HILL||Leon Corstens||Brenton Avdulla||8L||4||56kg||$31|
|8||1||TULLAMORE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||12.4L||2||58kg||$21|