By Gary Harley
Champion trainer Peter Snowden is confident that his talented colt Reinforced will make a triumphant return to the racetrack when he resumes in the 1300 metre Class 1 Handicap on the Beaumont Newcastle Track on Saturday. The three-year-old has not raced for 11 months after suffering a tendon injury.
Reinforced indicated he was above average when he contested the Randwick Fernhill Handicap at his last start in April. After being slowly away he was eight lengths off the lead at one stage before finishing 2.8 lengths from the winner Prized Icon which then won the Victoria Derby in the spring. Lasqueti Spirit was third and she went on to win the VRC Oaks.
Left: Reinforced and Blake Shinn after winning at Wyong. Image by - Bradley Photographers
Reinforced has had two quiet barrier trials recently and he has the coveted rails barrier. Snowden who trains in partnership with his son Paul told the Newcastle Herald on Friday that Reinforced is very fit despite the long layoff.
“He has had two barrier trials and a couple of jump outs. He has done a lot of work and he won’t be beaten on the score of fitness. Reinforced showed us a lot as a young horse and that is why we have persevered with him after he did the tendon.
"His race form tells you how smart he is. From barrier one I don’t expect the horse to be too far back. Reinforced's first two starts were on the Beaumont track and he was placed in both.
"We also have Argentina in the same race and he is progressing well. He was held up on the turn first up on the Beaumont track a couple of weeks ago. He is fitter this time but he is not as smart as Reinforced. I accepted with Shaheen in the 1200 metre Maiden and he is an each way chance,” Snowden said.
The best race of the day is the 1150 metre Class 2 Handicap with the trio at the top of the weights All From Scrap, Clevedon Bay and Vigilance all classy restricted class gallopers. The David Atkins-trained All From Scrap is first up on the back of two good trials. The three-year old’s record stands at two wins and two seconds from four starts.
Clevedon Bay, a mare from the Kris Lees stable, has raced six times for a win and four placings. She finished off strongly for a close third first up at Wyong recently.
Vigilance, a filly trained by John O’Shea, is unbeaten in two starts at Wyong and on the Beaumont track. The promising three-year-old has been very strong at the finish in both her starts. There is little between the trio in early markets.
An interesting runner at the Beaumont meeting is the James Cummings-trained 2yo Whispered Secret in the 1150 metre 2YO Maiden Plate. The filly is also an acceptor in the Group 3 Magic Night at Rosehill where she has drawn barrier 17.
She hasn’t fared a lot better at Newcastle with barrier 11 but this race is by far the easier option. In her only race start Whispered Secret was only two lengths away from the very smart Falconic when third in a Rosehill two-year-old on Christmas Eve.