2016 Coolmore Stud Stakes Target for Defcon

James Harron has confirmed the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Defcon would be kept to the spring sprints this season including a likely shot at Flemington’s Coolmore Stud Stakes 2016 for the stable on Victoria Derby Day.


Defcon is set to target the 2016 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival for James Harron Bloodstock. Photo: Steve Hart.

Harron’s Bloodstock syndicate has enjoyed a stellar season around Sydney including the Golden Slipper success of Team Snowden’s superstar juvenile Capitalist.

While Capitalist is favourite to take out the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) this September at Rosehill Gardens, Harron said stablemate Defcon would be set on a different path.

“We have been delighted with the results this season,” the Northern Irish-born agent told The Daily Telegraph this week.

“In our first year we focused on colts and have been fortunate to land some very good horses.

“Your dream is to get a Golden Slipper winner and to do that straight away with Capitalist was an amazing result.”

A rising three-year-old Choisir colt, Defcon is best known for his win in Canberra’s Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) in early March during the autumn.

He backed up in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds later in the month, but he only managed to finish a distant 13th behind stablemate Capitalist in the Slipper.

He has since trialled nicely at Rosehill when runner-up to Crafty Cop over 900m on Tuesday morning and Harron, who has only had his Sydney-based bloodstock empire established for five years, couldn’t be happier with the youngster’s progress after his winter spell.

“Defcon is a more furnished product this time through but he will be kept to sprinting in the spring,” he said.

“They have all taken that next step physically which was pleasing to see.

“The Golden Rose is the main target for Capitalist and it is a possibility for Mediterranean [a recent winner at Canterbury].

“Peter [Snowden] has always had a really good opinion of this guy [Mediterranean] who is a cousin of Capitalist.”

The biggest sprint race of the spring for three-year-olds is the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Saturday October 29, the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Snowden prepared the 2011 Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Sepoy.

Sydney’s Chris Waller has dominated the race in the past three years preparing Zoustar (2013), Brazen Beau (2014) and Japonisme (2015) for their consecutive victories.

All three came off a lead-up run in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick, the $300,000 Sydney showdown to run on October 1 this year and a likely Coolmore Stud Stakes lead-up for Defcon.

Other rising three-year-olds Harron is looking forward to the spring campaigns of include Snitzel colt Detective who was runner-up in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) back in March and Brisbane’s Group 2 Sires’ Produce winner Attention.

“Detective will trial in about three weeks. He is still a maiden so the initial aim is to get that out of the way. He has strengthened and developed a lot during his break,” Harron said.

“Attention had a couple of weeks off after Brisbane but he is back in work now and is not far off the mark. He will race during the spring.

“We have an exciting group of rising three-year-olds going into the spring — there is a lot of water to flow under the bridge yet but you have to be positive in this game.”

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