By Ray Hickson
While many experts have conceded the remainder of the Darley's Princess Series to Hungry Heart, Dame Giselle’s co-trainer Paul Snowden is happy to play the role of the underdog once again.
After overcoming a wide run to win the Furious, which followed an all the way Silver Shadow win, Dame Giselle arrives at the Group 2 $200,000 Darley Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) in the strange position of still having to prove herself.
Hungry Heart was a $2 favourite with TAB on Friday with Dame Giselle at $2.90.
“It’s fair to say she hasn’t got the credit she deserves,’’ Snowden said.
“She’s done it and she keeps doing it and people think ‘oh it was just an average race’ but she keeps winning.’’
Dame Giselle held a half length margin over Hungry Heart in the Furious at 1200m on September 5.
What’s changed this time is obviously the extra 200m will be in Hungry Heart’s favour, certainly on pedigree and how she’s raced to date, but for the first time Dame Giselle has drawn to be in a position to have an economical run.
Punter’s Intelligence sectional data paints an interesting picture from the Furious – while Hungry Heart ran the fastest last 600m of the race (33.25), Dame Giselle was only 0.01 behind her and she covered an extra 1.6m in the run.
Snowden said he’s confident Dame Giselle can run out a strong 1400m, whether they have a shot at the Group 1 Flight Stakes out to 1600m will probably be determined by the result on Saturday.
“She can get a nice run in transit for once and I think she still gets to establish the turn of foot she’s got over seven furlongs,’’ he said.
“It remains to be seen how she runs it out on Saturday whether it will be an issue or not for a mile.
“She’ll be able to have that quick change up of gear that she seems to possess at six furlongs, she should be able to do that off a nice low draw.’’
It’s not all about Dame Giselle for the Snowden stable as Stellar Pauline, $23 with TAB, attempts to rebound from a below par ninth behind her stablemate two weeks ago.
Snowden said he was disappointed with her effort and in an ideal world will be a bit closer in the run out to the seven furlongs.
“I think she may have just got a bit too far back,’’ he said.
“There didn’t seem to be a lot run on behind Hungry Heart, she’s a class filly, but you’d expect her to get home.
“Hopefully we don’t have to go too far back from the gate, she still needs to be ridden where she’s comfortable at the same time.
“On potential and form I’d suggest she has to improve dramatically to be beating the stablemate but it’s a race and we have two live chances.’’
Elsewhere at Randwick, Snowden is expecting Bound To Win to run a cheeky first-up race in the Quincy Seltzer Handicap (1200m) but warns she will come on with the run under her belt.
The mare is a $5.50 chance with TAB and is unbeaten second-up.
Dame Giselle wins at Randwick on September 5
“She’s trialling up nicely, I’ve got to say 1400m is her pet distance but I have done nothing but been impressed by what she’s done this time through,’’ he said.
“She will probably settle in the second half over this trip but I’d be disappointed if she doesn’t run on because I think she can run really well.”
And the stayer Carif is flying under the radar, according to Snowden, in the Group 3 $160,000 Schweppes Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).
He’s finished midfield in both the Hawkesbury Cup and Chelmsford Stakes at a mile and is getting ready for longer races.
“He’s doing more than enough for us,’’ he said.
“He’s drawn an ordinary gate but he’s going well, he’s laughing at what we’re giving him at the moment which is a very good sign.”