The Peter Snowden stable was on good terms with itself as classy colt Denman prepared to make it seven straight wins and emulate his sire Lonhro by winning Saturday’s $1 million Caulfield Guineas 2009.
Snowden considers that during his 22-year involvement in racing, both with the John Hawkes team and in his own right, he’s worked with only two champions – Lonhro, who stormed home to win the 2001 Caulfield Guineas and his sire Octagonal who finished third in the 1995 Guineas before winning the Cox Plate that year.
A Guineas win would continue Denman’s journey towards maybe becoming the third.
“Saturday is going to prove that if he happened to win but it’s a little unfair to compare him to what Lonhro’s done on the track because he’s still got to do it,” said Paul Snowden, Melbourne stable foreman for his father.
“We think he can but Saturday will tell.”
“He’s done nothing wrong to date and on what he did this morning he’s right on target.”
Denman is unbeaten in a preparation that began six starts back on June 13 with a win in a Kilmore two-year-old maiden over 1112m.
He then won over 1100m at Flemington and 1200m at Sandown before going to Sydney where he won three successive Group races, the Run To The Rose (1300m) and the Golden Rose 2009 (1400m), both at Rosehill, and the Stan Fox Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
Paul Snowden won’t have it that the colt might have had enough for the time being, as opposition trainers are hoping.
“He’s fine, he’s more settled and happier where he is. He has familiarised himself with the surroundings at home (Flemington),” he said.
Snowden was happy with barrier seven in the 11-horse field as the stable was hoping for “somewhere around the middle”.
“The speed has drawn inside him so hopefully it can be just a genuine tempo and every horse gets his chance to win and it’s a fair break.”
Denman, to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy who is unbeaten on the colt in three rides, has tightened up in betting markets since Tuesday’s barrier draw from $2.80 to $2.60 favouritism with TAB Sportsbet fixed odds after two of his main rivals, Trusting and So You Think, drew out in gates 10 and 11 respectively.
Trusting, runner-up to Denman in the Group One Golden Rose two starts back, is $4.50 second pick with Manhattan Rain, who drew barrier six, solid at $6 ahead of So You Think ($9).
On-pacers Starspangledbanner ($12) and Bill Stutt Stakes winner Carrara ($16) drew gates one and two respectively while last Saturday’s Flemington winner Tickets ($14) drew barrier eight with Stutt runner-up Extra Zero ($14) to jump from five.
Article by Mark Ryan Aapracing