By Ray Hickson
Dothraki is a nose away from being a Group 1 winner and that’d be a fair description of his racing career.
The seven-year-old isn’t in the same class as Everest winner Redzel, who carries the same Triple Crown colours, but he’s banked over $1.1 million with six wins from 38 starts.
Trainer Peter Snowden said it’s hard for a horse like Dothraki, who has reached his class level, to string a series of wins together but is upbeat about his summer campaign which kicks off in the Listed $125,000 Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
“It’s fair to say he probably should have won a few more races,’’ he said.
“I wouldn’t say he’s not genuine but he finds it difficult to really dig deep. He’s won over a million so you can’t complain about the job he’s done for the owners.’’
What has the Snowden stable in a positive mindset about the gelding is the fact he’s coming of his longest break from racing since after he ran in the 2013 Golden Slipper.
It’s usual practice to keep the horse on the fresh side and in the stable and Snowden said he can see the difference in Dothraki, who is rated a $7.50 chance with TAB for his return.
“He’s not in a bad spot. He’s had a good spell this time which is probably what he’s needed for a long time,’’ he said.
“He looks really well, very good in the coat, he’s very bright and fresh and his trials have been solid. He’s there to run well in a good race.’’
Dothraki wins his Randwick trial – November 16
Dothraki’s Group 1 near miss came in the BTC Cup last year when he was nosed out by Malaguerra and his chief aim this campaign is January’s Magic Millions meeting on the Gold Coast.
He hasn’t worn his blinkers in his two trials, the latest a solid win leading all the way on November 16, and Snowden has been rapt with his attitude.
“We very seldom put blinkers on unless you want him to have a hard trial, we always leave something for game day,’’ Snowden said.
“He didn’t run flash time, he controlled the speed and gave a good kick. It was good to see him fight them off, quite often he’s happy to stay beside his mate.
“He hasn’t won for quite a while so it is hard to say he will win but I’m sure at some stage of the race he’ll look the winner.’’
Stablemate and second emergency Princefamous may not line up if he gains a start in the Starlight with Snowden concerned about some rain forecast and a wide alley.
Level Eight resumes for Snowden in the ATC Owners Benefit Card Handicap (1300m) with the stable turning their backs on a "soft kill" at Canberra on Friday in favour of Rosehill.
The consistent five-year-old, $12 with TAB, was a winner with 61.5kg at Kembla Grange before a spell and showed he’d come back in good order with an eye-catching trial at the same session as Dothraki.
Snowden pulled the right rein last weekend by running Bull Market at Rosehill instead of a lesser grade race at Goulburn.
“We very nearly went to Canberra, it looked a nice race for him on paper,’’ he said.
“He’s going well and it’s hard to pass up that sort of prizemoney in a race he can certainly win with a bit of luck.
“He’s there to run well, his trials were good and his second trial especially was great. If the rain does come it doesn’t hurt him and it might bring some of the others back.’’
Meanwhile, Everest winner Redzel will have one week of pre-training starting on Monday before returning to the Snowden stable a week later.