Co-trainer Paul Snowden has big hopes for his progressive colt High Spirit who chases a maiden stakes victory in Saturday’s Sunshine Coast Guineas 2016 in Queensland.
The nicely-bred High Chaparral three-year-old is one of 15 youngsters making up the field for the $125,000 Group 3 XXXX Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m), the last Group race of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
Drawn well in barrier three, High Spirit is prepared by Snowden in partnership with his father Peter for Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and has Kerrin McEvoy coming aboard in the place of Tim Clark.
Clark rode the horse last start on June 11 at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Day when High Spirit was far from disgraced crossing only 1.7 lengths away fourth behind Tsaritsa in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m).
He was the best placed of the boys in the race, overcame a wide barrier 13 of 18 draw and was only rated a $31 hope by the bookies.
From eight runs to date High Spirit has just the one win when Clark guided him to victory over 1200m at Gosford in early May.
The up-and-comer is steadily improving however and looks well-placed in Saturday’s race according to Snowden.
“We’ve had to take our time with this horse and let him develop in to his big frame,” Snowden told AAP.
“But he seems to have really benefited from the trip to Queensland as previously he wanted to over-race and now he will work with you rather than against you.
“Also being by High Chaparral, he’ll only get better the further he steps up in distance.
“He is going well so with such a well-bred colt you would obviously like to get some black type.”
Last year’s Sunshine Coast Guineas winner Winx developed into a genuine turf superstar during her subsequent spring campaign that included wins in Sydney’s Epsom Handicap and the Cox Plate in Melbourne.
While hoping to enjoy later elite level success with High Spirit, win or lose on Saturday Snowden said the galloper was likely to skip the spring and be saved for an autumn comeback early next year.
“We are looking at him as more of an autumn horse,” Snowden said.
“He only had a short freshen-up before heading to Queensland and he probably would benefit from longer spell.”
The best of the Queensland Guineas graduates accepted for the Sunshine Coast edition this weekend meanwhile is the Kevin Kemp-trained third placed Collate filly Sold For Song.
She raced again last Saturday winning the Listed Daybreak Lover (1400m) and her Toowoomba-based trainer Kemp is yet to make a final decision on whether she runs on the quick back-up on the weekend.
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