By Tony Megahey
Cessnock’s “knockabout” three-time TAB Highway winner Jeremy Sylvester guarantees Snappy One’s latest form belies his talent for a $60,000 Tony Sleiman Memorial episode over 1100m at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
When Snappy One won a 1400m Highway at headquarters on a heavy ten last August by a widening five lengths off a Cessnock success, he was lauded as one of the most exciting sprinters on country tracks.
“Sure was - that was a class three with some real good form and strong stables; he put a gap in them and was still rolling,” Sylvester said. “He’d shown us plenty going into that Highway, but we weren’t expecting him to be that dominant.
“He won three for us, then next prep he just didn’t come up at all, so we turned him out for a decent spell but they don’t win a race at Randwick like that unless they can run. This horse might just be a swimmer, and sure we’re hoping for a rain affected track on Saturday.
“But like I say, he’s a lot better than he showed last prep. This time in, his work has been a lot better. We’re happy with him anyway, and he seems to be enjoying himself as well. “With 53kg he’s really well weighted on his best form. Hopefully this prep, he’ll bring it with him.”
At present Randwick is rated a soft six.
Significantly Snappy One’s wins have been on heavy and soft going, and he has no firm track placings. He will be extended odds against prolific Highway winners, Matthew Dale with Clipper, Matthew Dunn with Conniving, and Doomben winner and top-weight Nardoo.
Sylvester won successive Highways last season with performed Three Sheets and a third episode with Lasszou.
A prolific winner on northern tracks for two decades, and with his share in town, Jeremy has been involved with some of the Hunter’s finest.
“I worked three years with Kris Lees and of course his dad, Max was a great trainer, won a stack of Group 1s with some champions.
“Long before though, I got started through Robert Thompson and his dad Arthur. “I was best man at Robert’s wedding, we’ve won a lot of races over the years. I won 15 races with my very first horse, Robert mostly on it. “We’ve won Highways together and other city races, but watching what he’s achieved over so many years, and what he has done for racing has been so special."
And according to Jeremy, so have the humorous moments.
“In this game, we’ve all had our share of slow ones, and this day Robert and I had one that tailed out, any further and it could have got beat by the ambulance!!!!”
“The owner was new to racing and all excited, and he asked Robert ‘do you think he’s looking for further?
Rob said, ‘Maybe he is, but he won’t get it any faster!!!’
“I said to the owner, in this game you’ve got to be a real patient loser and make sure you’ve got a sense of humour.”