Classy Sprinter Snitzerland has led from start to finish, claiming a huge first-up win in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) down the famous Flemington straight this afternoon.
Jumping from the barriers in great form, Snitzerland took up a noticeable lead only 200 metres into the race, leading comfortably throughout and managing to dig deep and hold out a late charge from fellow pre-post favourites Shamexpress and Samaready.
Foreman for trainer Gerald Ryan, Sterling Alexiou was pleased to see the great form shown by the Snitzel mare in preparation translate so well onto the race track.
“She’s terrific first up and what she’s been showing us this time in she’s brought to race day” Alexiou said following the win.
“It’s just a thrill to finally get a Group 1 with her.”
Co-owner Neil Werrett, who also famously co-owned Equine superstar Black Caviar, was quick to praise the role of Gerald Ryan in the memorable victory.
“To name a race after Black Caviar and then win it has been a really triumph for Gerald as well” Werrett said.
“Gerald has managed her exceedingly well; she ran second in the Golden Slipper and I think a few people might have forgotten that.
“Today was a great achievement; I can’t tell you how great a thrill it is.”
Jockey Brenton Avdulla delivered a great ride in partnering Snitzerland to her first success at Group 1 level but revealed a change in tactics was necessary early in the running.
“As soon as she left the barriers she was right on song; I couldn’t hold her any slower for the first 400” Avdulla said immediately after dismounting.
“I was going to try and sit off Bernabeu, but after I went 200 metres I couldn’t so I just let her stride.
“Inside the 600 I just kept letting her improve and when I got to the 300 I was just full of horse, even when I got to the clock tower and she just did the rest.
Having partnered the classy four-year-old to a strong barrier trial win on February 4th, Avdulla was confident of first-up success in the Lightning Stakes.
“I knew we were coming here today with a horse that was on song and ready to go. I don’t think Gerald has had her going any better, even when she came second in the slipper” he added.
“She’s just been doing everything right and full credit goes to Gerald.”
A busy 2014 is undoubtedly on the cards for Snitzerland, with a step up in journey likely ahead of the 2014 Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 8th.
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2014 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Results
|1||8||SNITZERLAND||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||–||9||56.5kg||$5|
|2||1||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||0.5L||7||58.5kg||$7.50|
|3||7||SAMAREADY||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||1.5L||3||56.5kg||$3.10F|
|4||2||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes||Stephen Baster||2.25L||10||58.5kg||$31|
|5||5||UNPRETENTIOUS||Nikki Burke||Craig Williams||2.45L||1||58.5kg||$18|
|6||4||ESPRIT DE BULLET (NZ)||John Hyam||Vlad Duric||4.2L||2||58.5kg||$151|
|7||11||BRILLIANT BISC||Peter G Moody||Glen Boss||4.6L||12||53.5kg||$51|
|8||13||BUGATTY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dean Holland||5.1L||11||46kg||$31|
|9||3||AERONAUTICAL||Lionel Cohen||Chad Schofield (a)||5.5L||6||58.5kg||$26|
|10||12||BOOMWAA||Robbie Laing||Dean Yendall||7.5L||4||46kg||$17|
|11||6||AFRICAN PULSE||Michael Moroney||Michael Rodd||7.9L||5||58.5kg||$21|
|12||10||BERNABEU||John O’Shea||Nash Rawiller||11.9L||8||55.5kg||$4.80|