The power of the Peter and Paul Snowden three-year-old team will be on show as Bartley and Rulership start spring preparations at Randwick and Caulfield on Saturday, while Smart Image gets his shot at the big time in the Up And Coming Stakes.
The Snowdens are coming off a strong season with their juveniles and are making some tough decisions about the now three-year-olds. Rulership has been sent to Melbourne and is unlikely to return this spring because of COVID-19 restrictions, but with dual group 1 winner King's Legacy and Bartley, the stable will still have a strong hand in the Golden Rose.
Smart Image will look to stay unbeaten in the Up And Coming Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.Credit:Getty
Then there is the unbeaten Smart Image, who brings the benefit of a couple of wins in the Up And Coming Stakes that surprised Snowden with their strength. Stakes-placed North Pacific is the $2.30 favourite ahead of Smart Image at $4, who will answer further questions about his talent at Randwick.
“It is a big jump from winning a midweek maiden to winning on Saturday and he has done that and earned a crack at this level,” Snowden said.
“When I looked at this race I thought it might be one of those races you look back on and say, 'fancy running into that in that race'. It is very strong but he has the racing-fitness edge.”
Snowden has plenty of contenders for the Golden Rose and admitted Smart Image could join them on Saturday, or just as easily be headed for a spell.
The plan for Bartley is the Golden Rose but he will make a low-key return against benchmark company over 1100m at Randwick.
“It is probably a bit short for him but he is very well,” Snowden said. “He is a horse that hasn’t had much luck in his career and I think we will see his best at 1400m and the mile. He could be the type of horse that heads to the Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas.”
Snowden has split his three-year-olds with Rulership heading to Melbourne for the Vain Stakes, where he is a $3 favourite for the group 3.
“When you decide to send one down there, they are gone and not coming back to my mind because of the COVID situation,” Snowden said. “It is a very considered decision to send a horse like him down there because there are a good group of races for him down there.
“He has come back very well, a lot stronger, and has been to Caulfield before, which is big advantage.”
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