The recommendation from co-trainer Peter Snowden to connections of lovely colt Shooting To Win will be to head towards the Caulfield Guineas 2014 in Melbourne next month after his Stan Fox Stakes win at Rosehill Gardenson Saturday.
Backing up from a third behind the unbeaten Hallowed Crown in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at the track a fortnight ago, today Northern Meteor three-year-old Shooting To Win returned for a consolation win in the $200,000 Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m).
Celebrating his first victory since a no-maiden-wins event for two-year-olds as a juvenile at Canterbury back in early June, Shooting To Win did nothing right early but got a gun run off a missed start.
After being slow away from the gates he and jockey Tim Clark avoided the early shuffling for positions and were able to slot into a lovely spot just off the pace.
The speed was set by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Valentia, coming off a fifth in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality from September 6 where Shooting To Win run second to Panzer Division, who kicked up looking for the rails early.
Valentia and jockey Tommy Berry held their front running position right up to the straight while the odds-on favourite Scissor Kick ($1.90), a luckless second in the Golden Rose last time out, again had no luck.
He was caught wide and three deep throughout but was brave in the finish when second behind the runaway winner Shooting To Win, who moved up from fourth heading into the turn for home, with Valentia holding for third.
Fourth then went to the Gerald Ryan-trained Bachman who looks right on track for a run in Melbourne’s $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) on November 1 at Flemington where today’s Gloaming Stakes winner Sweynesse is also heading.
Clark let his mount draw away after he claimed the frontrunner with 200m left to go for a dominant victory sprinting away from his rivals after overcoming a slow start that actually worked to their advantage as they saved ground finding themselves just in off the speed.
Post-race Clark said it was lovely to get a win for Team Snowden who has always been great supporters of his.
“The really firm track really suited him,” he said post-win.
“He’s got a great turn of foot that we haven’t seen at the races until today.
“I was mindful to hold him up because he was always going to be explosive when he went, and he certainly was that today.
“He’s a lovely colt.
“Found the right race for him today and I was confident that he’d improved a couple of lengths off his Golden Rose run and I think he showed that today.”
Snowden meanwhile, who now trains in partnership with his son Paul after splitting from Godolphin earlier in the year, was hopeful the owners would let him take the horse to Melbourne for the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11.
“He did a few things wrong again but ended up getting a lovely run,” he said.
“He quickened really nicely. He quickened really well today right through the line.
“Absolutely we have to really think about it (the Caulfield Guineas) hard now.
“I’ll have a good talk (to the owners) tonight. They’ve got a very special horse and should give him the opportunity to go up to that next level.
“This fella is such a tough horse with untapped ability so we’ll see what happens.”
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2014 Stan Fox Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 5 (3:05pm) – 27/09/2014
|1||4||SHOOTING TO WIN||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tim Clark||–||3||56.5kg||$4|
|2||1||SCISSOR KICK||Paul Messara||Tye Angland||3L||4||56.5kg||$1.85F|
|3||3||VALENTIA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||3.1L||7||56.5kg||$5|
|4||6||BACHMAN||Gerald Ryan||Corey Brown||3.9L||2||56.5kg||$61|
|5||7||VOLLEY OF FIRE||Anthony Cummings||James McDonald||4.6L||8||56.5kg||$101|
|6||2||SCRATCH ME LUCKY||Paul Perry||Blake Shinn||5L||5||56.5kg||$51|
|7||5||MODOC||Paul Perry||Jeff Lloyd||8.8L||1||56.5kg||$26|
|8||8||AWARD OF MERIT||Tony McEvoy||Kerrin McEvoy||11.1L||6||56.5kg||$26|