Peter Snowden is tipping a possible 2014 JJ Atkins bid for talented two-year-old Meursault after they beat home their better fancied stable mate Farolitos in the $125,000 Evergreen Turf Claret Stakes (1300m) at Hawkesbury on the weekend.
On debut, Medaglia D’Oro colt Meursault had their first and only start for Snowden when Christian Reith guided the Darley-owned youngster to smart three length win over Farolitos on Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day.
It was the second of an eventual three wins at the stand-along meeting for Snowden in his last training performance for Darley.
While Snowden now goes out on a new venture with son Paul Snowden, fellow Sydney horseman John O’Shea is the new private trainer for Darley Australia and has taken over the preparation of Meursault.
Before parting, Snowden predicted a big Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign for both Meursault and fellow Medaglia D’Oro colt Farolitos, who won at Mornington the start before, after their Hawkesbury quinella.
“They are both quality horses, fantastic to work with, and by a sire I have a lot of time for, Megdalia D’Oro,” Snowden told The Sunday Telegraph.
“But I do think the winner is really smart. I wasn’t surprised he won as well as he did.
“I didn’t think there was much between Meursault and Farolitos except the second horse had race experience.
“Both of these horses can go to Brisbane, no doubt.”
Only the winner though is among the nominations taken for the $500,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) set to run at Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 7 as part of Stradbroke Handicap Day.
With the easy victory Meursault shot to the top of futures JJ Atkins odds sharing equal $5 favouritism with Mick Price’s unbeaten Redoute’s Choice Stakes winning Sebring colt Pressing.
It’s a race they are easily capable of making their mark in too as a Hawkesbury graduate, their Saturday performance emulating the likes of the Chris Waller-trained Zoustar who has gone on to win two Group 1s since winning the Gold Cup Day event.
“This is always a good race and nice horses come out of it,” Snowden said.
“The way this horse has won, he can be a chance in those big races for sure.”
Reith agreed with Snowden’s high praise tipping Meursault of bigger wins in the future.
“He is a very serious horse, very talented,” the jockey said.
“He still has a lot to learn but when he does, next time in, he will be top class.”
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