After winning the fillies’ and mares’ feature 12 months ago, the Darley-owned Aerobatics saluted for her stable in their sponsored race on Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day again over the weekend going back-to-back in The 2014 Darley Crown.
In a fitting finish for trainer Peter Snowden’s association with Darley, the Exceed And Excel mare made it three wins for the horseman at Hawkesbury on Saturday with her good victory in the $150,000 Group 3 The 2014 Darley Crown (1300m).
Earlier in the day Snowden, who goes out on his own as a pubic trainer with son Paul Snowden as of this week, enjoyed victories with Generalife and Meurasult in the opening two races on the card.
But it was Aerobatic’s The Darley Crown victory that took the cake on the weekend for the master horseman.
“Everything has fallen into place for us,” Snowden told The Sunday Telegraph.
“To get three winners is a great result, I thought if we could get one I’d be happy.
“I’ve had six wonderful years at Darley, they have given me a great opportunity and it has been a real privilege to train for them, and to finish up with three winners including this race is the perfect way to go out.”
Ridden to perfection by Christian Reith Aerobatics hadn’t won a race since her narrow victory in last year’s Darley Crown.
She broke the year long drought however with a tidy one length success this winter over the Peter Moody-trained Plucky Belle with race favourite Cosmic Endeavour a devastatingly close third for trainer Gai Waterhouse.
“This was the race we picked out for Aerobatics right at the start of her preparation,” Snowden said of Aerobatic’s win.
“It was all aimed around having her peak here. It is not often a plan comes off but it did on Saturday.”
Snowden was also quick to credit Reith’s ride, and indicate a big second half of the year for the rising six-year-old winner.
“With Aerobatics, you have got to get cover early so she can switch off,” he said.
“Christian rode her really well. He knows she has a very good 200m sprint and he saved her for that.
“She was good late and won well. She has ability, is a very well bred mare and has really come of age now.”
Not only did it bring Snowden up to a treble at the stand-along meeting, but The Darley Crown result also handed him five wins in the feature following previous victories with Sung (2008), Serenissima (2010), Kanzan (2011) and of course Aerobatics last year.
With John O’Shea officially swapping stables as Darley’s new private trainer yesterday morning, Snowden leaves the dynasty having prepared over 1260 winners for the enterprise including 28 Group 1 winners for close to $80 million in prize money.
They are accolades not gone unnoticed or unappreciated by Darley’s Australian manager Henry Plumptre.
“We could not have been better served by the man we took on when we bought out Woodlands than with Peter Snowden,” Plumptre said.
“His level of professionalism, his attention to detail, the way he handles his horses, lives with his horses and handles his staff.
“He took us to a different level and we are going to miss him.”
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2014 The Darley Crown Results & Finishing Order
Hawkesbury Race 5 – 03/05/2014
|1||3||AEROBATICS||Peter Snowden||Christian Reith||–||6||58kg||$12|
|2||2||PLUCKY BELLE||Peter G Moody||Ms Linda Meech||1L||3||58kg||$6.50|
|3||6||COSMIC ENDEAVOUR||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||1.1L||10||57kg||$3.50F|
|4||4||MISS STELLABELLE||Gai Waterhouse||Jim Cassidy||1.3L||5||58kg||$14|
|5||9||BELLE DE COEUR||Luke Price||Adam Hyeronimus||2.3L||14||56kg||$17|
|6||11||SEASIDE||Peter Snowden||Joshua Parr||2.4L||11||56kg||$14|
|7||15||THE MESSINA NYMPH||Tony McEvoy||Tim Clark||2.9L||8||54kg||$5.50|
|8||7||PLEIADES||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||4.1L||4||56kg||$19|
|9||13||CHATHAM HOUSE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brenton Avdulla||4.2L||12||56kg||$31|
|10||12||BUGABOO (ARG)||Grahame Begg||John Kissick (a)||4.3L||2||56kg||$41|
|11||16||COMMANDING WIT||Paul Snowden||Jason Collett||4.5L||7||56kg||$31|
|12||1||LILLIBURLERO||David Payne||Jay Ford||4.6L||9||58kg||$8|
|13||5||CAMEO||Peter Snowden||Sam Clipperton (a)||5.7L||13||58kg||$21|
|14||14||SUCH A PRINCESS||Kerry Parker||Ms Kathy O’Hara||9.6L||1||56kg||$81|
|–||17||VILLA SPLENDIDO||Garry White||–||0||–||–|
|–||10||LA PIETA||Peter Snowden||–||0||–||–|
|–||8||QUEEN’S ELECT||Joseph Pride||Glyn Schofield||0||–||–|