The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Showing an impressive form turnaround after finishing 11th to Turnitup in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) back in May, three-year-old Peck thrived with a step back in class and distance last Saturday to win a 3YO Handicap over 2000m at Rosehill.
With nearly a length to spare on the line, Peck held on to defeat the Chris Waller-trained roughie Escholido in the event while their fellow Snowden-trained stablemate Zachary finished off the trifecta just a half-length further away.
Snowden was impressed with the victory that proved his confidence in Peck to emerge as a genuine Group stayer were deserved.
“I’ve always seen something exciting in him but it is a relief to see him deliver,” Snowden said.
Peck, who is from Sadler’s Wells mare Flying Kiss, has now raced nine times for a hat-trick of wins and two minor placings.
“Not many horses relax as well as he does and then can quicken at the end of 2000 metres,” Snowden noted.
Original winter plans were for Peck to head towards the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m), subsequently won by Shootoff, but the promising colt suffered a slight setback that marred his campaign.
“Unfortunately he was a race behind in his preparation for Brisbane after a setback and we couldn’t get him to the Derby,” Snowden explained.
Peck did not boast enough prize money to make the Derby field, his flop in the Grand Prix Stakes having been his final chance to increase his rating.
With the dashed Derby dream behind them, the Darley team are now looking towards the future with a newfound enthusiasm with Peck after their win last Saturday.
“Peter bought him back (to Sydney) to get a couple of races into him to get some prize money and lift his rating,” Snowden’s Sydney foreman Brad Widdup said.
“He really needs racing and Peter has always had a good opinion of him.”
While likely to be kept to a relatively light spring campaign, Snowden was confident that Peck would be in a prime position by the autumn to start racing at a higher level.
“I’d like now to find a race at 2200 or 2400 metres just to complete his education,” he said.
“Then I’ll look at the spring without going to the really top races and set him for the autumn.”
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