By Julieanne Horsman
Persistence paid off for Pajaro in the 2016 Listed Scone Cup. He was held up, blocked and bumped but managed to fight his way through a tightly bunched field to claim victory in the shadow of the post.
The six-year-old gelding, trained by Peter and Paul Snowden at Randwick, will return to Scone Race Club this Friday with the aim of defending his title.
“We are more happy with him now than we were this time last year,” Co-Trainer Paul Snowden said. “He gets better with each run and is always lifting the bar.”
Pajaro resumed in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy (1400m) at Randwick on 15th April, surging home to finish fourth behind Scone Cup rivals Kellyville Flyer and Duca Valentinois.
Two weeks later he ran in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup and despite making up ground in the straight, he finished eighth of sixteen.
“He ran as well as he could and he has pulled up well after the race,” Paul said. “He ran third last in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup last year and then won the Scone Cup a fortnight later so I am not concerned. He finds his best form after a couple of runs.”
Brenton Avdulla, who is currently in second place in the NSW Jockey Premiership, has been booked for the ride and Paul Snowden is happy with their number 8 barrier draw.
“They should lay up midfield and hopefully get every chance, especially with Scone’s long straight,” he said.
Eight of the horses that ran in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup, including winner Fabrizio, will line up in the Scone Cup.
“It’s very evenly matched field and it won’t take much for them to turn the tables on each other.”
Last year was the first Scone Cup win for the Peter and Paul Snowden partnership, however Peter won the feature in 2011 with Dysphonia and 2012 with Raspberries.
“There were a couple of unlucky seconds over the years as well,” Paul added.
Being from Scone originally, the carnival holds extra significance for the Snowdens.
“It’s always nice to go home and catch up with everyone and see all the familiar faces at the track,” he said.
“Pajaro is a bit of stable favourite so we’d really like him to do well.
“He’s only raced 27 times so if he keeps putting runs on the board we will hopefully see him through a few more seasons.”
Pajaro will head to the Brisbane Winter Carnival after Scone.