The untapped Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Acatour relished a firmer track at Royal Randwick on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’ to score an upset win over Theanswermyfriend in the ATC Carbine Club Stakes 2017.
The Sebring colt was last seen running eighth behind Inference in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on a Heavy (10) track on March 4.
Acatour was back to his best form on a Heavy (8) on Doncaster Mile Day, also enjoying a step down in class for the $200,000 ATC Carbine Club Stakes (1600m).
“Back to firmer footing today helped,” co-trainer Paul Snowden said post-win.
“He was getting really bogged out on those Heavy 10 tracks. The improving surface today saw him come through with flying colours.”
A genuine miler, the up-and-comer was given a gun ride by jockey Blake Shinn who really helped the young horse get through the going to produce him at the right time when moving past the leaders on the straight in the impressive victory.
The Chris Waller-trained Veladero with the blinkers on led the field throughout sitting just ahead of the Robert Smerdon-trained favourite from Victoria, Theanswermyfriend who was switched off in second.
Shinn meanwhile had the eventual winner Acatour travelling just off the quick pace in third.
Veladero led into the turn, while jockey Luke Nolen started to move up on Theanswermyfriend on the outside at the 400m really pushing the horse hard in the chase.
It was Acatour who was running on the best however after enjoying the genuine speed of the race, Shinn coming down the outside in a beautiful ride to move straight past the top fancy and run away with a ripping three length victory.
Theanswermyfriend held for second in the bob of the head over Veladero in third to round out the Carbine Club Stakes trifecta.
Options are now wide open for Acatour who has now won four of his nine career starts, with a race like the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 15 a possible end of campaign option.
“He’s got a fair bit of a talent,” Snowden added.
“He’s virtually untapped. He’s only had a handful of starts and just keeps on improving.”
Last autumn the Carbine Club Stakes – Frank Packer Plate double was achieved by He’s Our Rokkii (2016).
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2017 ATC Carbine Club Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 2 – 01/04/2017