Top Sydney trainer Peter Snowden is preparing to saddle-up two live wire chances in the Canterbury BMW Classic 2013 at Canterbury Park on Friday night having accepted for two sons of Lonhro in Skytrain and Sessions.
Running as Canterbury Race 5 at 9:00pm (AEST), this year’s $100,000 Listed Canterbury BMW Classic (1100m) has drawn a final field of just nine hopefuls, two of which are owned by Darley and prepared by Snowden.
The top-rated of the Snowden-trained stablemates in the mix is veteran seven-year-old sprinter Skytrain drawn nicely in gate four carrying the 56.5kg second top-weight.
A one-time stakes winner from 29 starts having taken out the Listed Hill Show Country Quality in the wet at Warwick Farm in August of 2011, Skytrain has had two runs this summer showing nice improvement in the latter.
After a first-up sixth behind Adebisi in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) at Warwick Farm on December 22 when ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, they backed up 10 days later and enjoyed the step back to 1100m when third in the Listed Carrington Stakes at Rosehill.
Christian Reith rode them in the Carrington, Skytrain finishing only a long neck away from the Gai Waterhouse-trained winner No Looking Back, with jockeys for the Canterbury Classic still to be confirmed.
“Skytrain has won half a million,” Snowden told Sky Sports Radio this week.
“A lot of horses don’t win that much. He pays his way every preparation he is in and there is no doubt he will do the same this time.”
Promising three-year-old colt Sessions meanwhile didn’t fare as well in the Canterbury Classic barriers having come up with the outside gate (9).
The young gun has already won three of their five starts, placing top three in the other two, and despite showing some bad racing manners is expected to rise through the ranks well this preparation.
A winner on debut at Randwick’s Kensington track on ANZAC Day last year as a juvenile, they kicked off their 3YO campaign at Rosehill in November with a first-up win over 1200m.
From there the punters were let down when Sessions jumped favourite in two more Rosehill races in November and December finishing third and second respectively.
They got back in the winners’ stall on January 5 however winning their last-start race with McEvoy aboard finishing a quarter length ahead of Territory in a Benchmark 80 over 1000m at Warwick Farm in a run that finally gave Snowden something to smile about.
“First real positive sign was his last start at Warwick Farm,” Snowden said.
“He has continued to do well since then.”
Snowden has dually accepted both Skytrain (Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night) and Sessions (a BenchMark 85 Handicap at Warwick Farm on Saturday) but is 99 percent confident they will both be there in the Canterbury Classic.
“I’ve accepted Friday and Saturday with Sessions but I’m leaning towards Friday night,” Snowden said.
“The makeup of the race is right. Short course, 1100m with good speed in the race. That is what we are after now we’re on the right track and we are more likely to have that on Friday night than Saturday.”
If they go there Snowden’s duo are set to face some quality sprinters in the 2013 Canterbury BMW Classic field this weekend including the defending champ Unanimously and Rick Worthington’s $600,000 earner Whitefriars who won the Group 2 Australia Stakes on this night two years ago in Melbourne.