By Ray Hickson
Trainer Peter Snowden believes the turnaround in fortunes of Poetic Charmer will lead to the in-form four-year-old graduating to stakes level in 2019.
Poetic Charmer is eyeing a hat-trick on Saturday in The Aviary @ Royal Randwick Handicap (1300m) and, despite his reputation as a talent around the stable, that’s something Snowden wasn’t sure he was capable of until this preparation.
“He’s carrying a lot more condition and not falling away like he was previously,’’ Snowden said.
“He’d lose 10-15kg between runs even if I gave him two or three weeks. He looks terrific and it’s starting to show in his performances.
“He’s always promised this, it’s taken him this long to get him to where we want him.
“He should be able to progress through now, he might be a black type horse next preparation.’’
Poetic Charmer's easy win over 1400m at Warwick Farm on December 5
Part of Poetic Charmer’s development can be seen in his versatility. He led all the way to win at Canterbury in November while last start at Warwick Farm, a month ago, he was third last on the turn but a length clear on the line.
On that occasion, Punters Intelligence reveals he covered an extra 22.6m and ran the fastest 400m-200m of 11.40 to put the race to bed.
Poetic Charmer, $4 favourite with TAB, was saved from the race over 1200m won by Deprive at Randwick last week and in hindsight it appears it was the right move.
“I’m glad I scratched him from last Saturday, this looks a much better race for him,’’ Snowden said.
“He’s coming back to 1300m which shouldn’t be a problem and he can either race handy or back so that’s a big plus.’’
Snowden is forecasting a cheeky first-up run from Emperor’s Way in the Kensington Handicap (1550m).
The five-year-old ($18) strung four wins together last summer but didn’t fire in his winter campaign which realised one placing from five starts.
“Once you screw him down too much he goes a bit flat and that’s what happened last prep,’’ he said.
“We started off at 1400m and 1500m before he got to his right trip so I’m happy to run him first-up at a mile.
“He’s definitely a talented horse and it’s a race he’s not out of.’’
Snowden on Hightail (Race 1, $5) & Vici ($13): “Hightail has had the benefit of two runs and you can’t buy that. He’s a fit horse, drawn a nice gate to get a nice run.''
“Vici is a nice horse and his trials have been good. He’s still learning what it’s all about, he’s been a bit up and down in them. He hit the ground running and dropped the bit in his first trial then at Canterbury he wanted ot go hard the whole way which is probably not ideal.’’
Snowden on Toroso (Race 9, $10): “He’s a promising horse and pretty genuine. I thought we were unlucky to lose at Newcastle, he was giving away a fair bit of weight (to Fuchu).
“At Kensington last start he got a long way back and it was hard to make up ground that day, I thought his effort to run third was very good.’’
Meanwhile, Snowden said it’s unlikely classy filly Pure Elation will race again.
With just six starts under her belt, including two Group 2 wins, the grey is struggling to recover from a knee injury that cut her spring campaign short after an easy win in the Furious Stakes.
“I don’t think she will be back, her knees are taking longer than normal to come right,’’ he said.
“It’s a shame, when you look through the horses she beat it’s very strong form.
“We almost got to see the best of her, she definitely would have been a Group 1 filly for sure.’’