By Gary Harley
The Snowden stable, one of Australia’s most successful, will use a Newcastle 1300m Maiden Plate on Thursday as a lead-up to next month’s Group 1 Randwick Inglis Sires' for the talented colt Bondi.
The two-year-old was a dual acceptor at Newcastle but will run in the Maiden Plate against a group of three-year-olds in preference to the 1400m two-year-old Maiden Plate against his own age.
Bondi heads to Newcastle with outstanding form and he is well placed under the set-weight conditions.
On March 11 he was a 'good thing' beaten when third, three-quarters of a length from the winner in the Group 3 Canberra Black Opal. The colt was wide all the way.
Bondi was narrowly beaten in the Breeders' Plate in September and he was placed behind the Newcastle flyer Jonker, in the Wyong Magic Millions.
Peter Snowden, who trains Bondi in partnership with his son Paul, said on Tuesday that the Randwick Sires is his mission.
“The 1400 metre Sires at Randwick on April 7 is the race we have set Bondi for. If he had won the Black Opal, he would have won enough prizemoney to get a start in the Golden Slipper.
"We would have run him in the Slipper but luck unfortunately deserted him in Canberra. Bondi certainly should have won the Black Opal.
"This is a very good colt with a magnificent pedigree and he is crying out for more ground. The 1300m down the long straight at Newcastle is ideal and the 1400m at Randwick even better,” Snowden said. Bondi is currently quoted at $26 for the Inglis Sires' by TAB.com.au
The Snowdens have three other runners at Newcastle on Thursday. They will saddle up Sprinting to Win (1200m, Class 2), California Turbo (1300m, Class 1) and Signore Fox (1400m, 2YO Maiden Plate). Peter discussed the two on Tuesday.
“Sprinting to Win has been disappointing, however, we have put the blinkers back on and the drop in class should see an improvement. We have freshened up California Turbo and he wants more ground. He is set for a Brisbane winter campaign and we are targeting races from 1600m to 2000m. He has had two soft trials.
"Signore Fox has talent and there were excuses last start at Newcastle. He was left in front by default and he then raced too keen. We are hoping he gets cover on Thursday and you will see a different horse. Signore Fox was only 2½ lengths behind Aylmerton less than a month ago and he has a chance in the Slipper,” Snowden said.
The world’s best jockey Hugh Bowman has chosen Newcastle to make his comeback to riding. Bowman was cleared to ride again on Monday. He has been booked in for three rides on Thursday: Plagiarist (race 3), California Turbo (race 7) and Cedarwood (race 8). Bowman, of course, will ride Winx in the George Ryder and Performer in the Golden Slipper at Rosehill on Saturday.