San Diego 2013 Victoria Derby Bound After Bill Stutt

Connections of the Peter Snowden-trained three-year-old San Diego will use this weekend’s Bill Stutt Stakes as a lead-up to the Victoria Derby 2013 during November’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Long John

2013 Caulfield Guineas favourite Long John runs in the Prelude this Saturday. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

The Exceed And Excel colt has won two of their four career starts to date, including a nice win over the mile at Caulfield back in March.

They resumed on September 7 at Flemington and were far from disgraced when finishing third behind stablemate Long John in the Listed Henry Bucks Stakes (1400m).

On Friday night at Moonee Valley Racecourse’s Moir Stakes meeting San Diego will be tested at Group level for the first time when they run second-up in the $220,000 Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m).

After their eye-catching first-up run in the Henry Bucks, Snowden is confident going up in distance for the Bill Stutt.

“Obviously a mile second-up is going to suit. There’s no worries about that,” he told AAP.

Like a number of the Bill Stutt Stakes hopes the Darley-owned youngster is looking to show off their staying potential for a shot at the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) on November 2.

As for Snowden’s Henry Bucks winner Long John, the Street Cry gelding is the current $4.20 favourite for the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 12.

The promising galloper will have their final lead-up to that Group 1 assignment this Sunday at Caulfield in the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).

While the bookies are rating Long John as the one to beat in next month’s Guineas, Snowden still needs convincing they are up to that class.

“I think he is a nice horse but I’m not sure he is A-grade,” he told The Border Mail.

Still, he hopes to be proven wrong and takes the confidence of the youngster’s regular rider Steve Arnold, aboard for all of their five career runs to date, as a positive sign.

“He has won four from five and each win is better than the last,” Snowden said.

“Stevie Arnold has ridden him most of his starts and says he keeps lifting when something comes at him, which is a good sign.

“He gives him a really good feel and he really likes the horse.

“He doesn’t dash away or run track-record time but he keeps winning, which is all you can ask.”

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