By Ray Hickson
Champion trainer Peter Snowden is adamant waiting a few extra days for Smartedge’s second run this preparation will pay dividends at Randwick on Monday.
The emerging three-year-old was a clear favourite when he was scratched from a race on Boxing Day in favour of the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1400m) to wrap up the New Year's meeting.
Snowden said nothing should be read into that scratching and the gelding is better for having a 16 day gap since his impressive first-up Kembla Grange win.
“It was a good win but a hard win and it took a little bit out of him,’’ Snowden said.
“They slowed right up midrace and he was shuffled right back so he had to do a fair bit late. He did it and ran time and his sectionals were pretty good.
“It was only a 10 day turnaround to that race on Boxing Day but it’s the same sort of race on Monday so for the sake of six days under his belt it will help him.’’
Re-live Smartedge's strong first-up win at Kembla Grange
Smartedge, to be partnered by Blake Shinn and carrying the same colours as Saturday's impressive winner Brave Song, is a dominant $3.00 favourite for Monday’s race which serves as a last chance to earn a run in the Magic Millions Guineas (1400m).
He was beaten second-up in his first preparation as an odds-on favourite but Snowden said he’s seen more than enough in trackwork to pay attention to that.
“His work on Thursday was the best work this time in and he’s in better shape,’’ he said.
“He really has to win to go to the Gold Coast but I’ve been happy with him.’’
Snowden concedes Bull Market hasn’t had the ideal lead up to the Happy New Year Handicap (1800m) after missing a run last Saturday week.
The last start Rosehill 1400m winner with Tye Angland in the saddle, back on November 25, was due to have a 1600m run prior to this race but a setback forced his scratching.
“He needed that run to get to 1800m,’’ he said.
“He’s always been looking for the trip, he’s a run short I feel and that mile run at WF would have set him up perfectly.
“But it’s the sort of race he’s been looking for all the way through.’’