Classy colt Paximadia has given Darley their fourth victory in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) in the last six years with an impressive win at Caulfield this afternoon.
Paximadia looked as though he might get caught between horses in the early stages of the race but jockey Kerrin McEvoy took him to the front of the field along with Gai Waterhouse-trained Equator.
Equator pulled away from Paximadia coming around the final turn but the son of Commands was far too strong in the final stages of the race to score a comfortable victory from Equator, who hung on for second, and Shea Eden-trained Apollo’s Choice.
Trainer Peter Snowden has made the Sandown Guineas his own in the past decade and said that the Group 2 event was always the major 2013 Spring Racing Carnival target for Paximadia.
“It is a race that we target with the right sort of horse and we thought that this was the right level for this bloke, although I am sure that he will get a lot further,” Snowden said.
“It was true run race and there was no loffing there; they really stepped it up at the 600 and he had to hang in tough.
“He was good late and he hit the line well.”
Paximadia is expected to join the Godolphin team in Europe at the start of next year and Snowden is confident that the three-year-old has the class required to step-up in distance and win some big races.
“I’m sure that he will get further and he is a nice horse,” Snowden said.
“He deserves to go somewhere better because I think that he is a better horse; he will make a name for himself over there.”
Paximadia finished a disappointing eighth when he made his debut at Caulfield in the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) on October 19 and clearly did not like being caught between horses in the early stages of the race.
McEvoy said, earlier in the week, that he had learnt his lessons from that run and took the initiative to get the colt out of a tough spot when he missed the kick slightly this afternoon.
“There was a proper tempo and it was a proper horse racing,” McEvoy said.
“He didn’t step as well as he did on Derby Day and he left me in a little bit of a pickle at the 100 metre mark but I was able to maneuver out and get into a spot that he enjoyed.
“I got him into a nice rhythm and then Nash (Rawiller) really stepped it up at the 800.
“It was a test and I was a bit worried at the 500 but my fellow dug really deep.
“At the 250 I thought that I was a good chance and he was strong on the line, so full credit to our horse.”
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2013 Sandown Guineas Finishing Order
|1||1||PAXIMADIA||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||–||5||56.5kg||$3.40F|
|2||3||EQUATOR||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||1.25L||9||56.5kg||$4.80|
|3||6||APOLLO’S CHOICE||Shea Eden||Brad Rawiller||2L||11||56.5kg||$4|
|4||4||BEST CASE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||3.5L||6||56.5kg||$6|
|5||8||INAFRENZY||John McArdle||Chris Symons||10.5L||2||56.5kg||$31|
|6||2||CHAMPOLLION||Peter Snowden||Steven Arnold||10.8L||8||56.5kg||$31|
|7||5||POMPEIUS||Frankie Stockdale||Vlad Duric||11.55L||10||56.5kg||$18|
|8||9||GABBLE||Shane Fliedner||Stephen Baster||11.75L||3||56.5kg||$61|
|9||11||OUTLANDISH||Anthony Freedman||Craig Williams||12.5L||7||54.5kg||$19|
|10||10||DE LAGO STORM||Harold Barry||Rhys McLeod||14.5L||4||56.5kg||$301|
|11||7||RYKER||Gai Waterhouse||Dwayne Dunn||14.6L||1||56.5kg||$21|