By Brad Gray
Invader is an early odds-on favourite for the Group One Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday and history is firmly in his corner.
Of the last 20 Sires’ Produce winners to contest the Champagne, 11 have won with the latest trio being Guelph (2013), Pierro (2012) and Helmet (2011). Guelph and Helmet of course had the Snowden connection when Peter was heading up the Darley operation.
Invader's Sires' win
“(Invader) is an extremely tough horse. He has five days in the paddock and here we are again running in another Group One at a mile. It’s just a testament to the horse’s constitution and his toughness,” said co-trainer Paul Snowden.
“He hasn’t shocked us buy any means, he has always had the ability but so many things have gone wrong. He missed the Slipper and we were there two weeks later winning the Sires’ so it has been a bit of a roller coaster.”
“He was very new early in his career. He would run with his head up like a little kid on a new BMX – he wanted to go 100 miles an hour. The racing has brought him on and taught him how to level out properly.
“The mile is a query but it’s always been in our minds that the tempo would suit him.”
Team Snowden have seen a plethora of Guineas horses roll through their yard over the years and could have another classics horse with Invader.
“That is up to him and what happens in the next three months as far as transformation goes into the spring. They are the unknowns. Although just because you can’t get a mile at two doesn’t mean you can’t at three.”
Meanwhile, the stable will also saddle up Acatour, another firm favourite, in the Group Three Frank Packer Plate (2000m) after impressing over the mile in the Carbine Club over The Championships.
“He is at 2000m so it’s a bit of a look-see at the trip. Off the back of his last start you’d think he would but then again you don’t know until you try.”
“Hopefully the track can bounce back to that slightly better than heavy range. We definitely don’t want it bottomless.”
Acatour winning the Carbine by a space