Peter Snowden will be aiming to overtake legendary trainer Tommy Smith for most Black Opal wins in Canberra on Sunday.
The Black Opal has been good for trainer Peter Snowden with a record four wins in the youth feature and victory on Sunday with Metallicity or Standing Order will see him set a new training record in the race.
Snowden scored his first Black Opal victory with Epaulette in 2012 and since forming a sparring partnership with his son, Paul, has recorded wins with Defcon in 2016, Barbaric in 2020 and Kalashnikov last year to equal the late Tommy Smith’s record.
Metallicity debuted in the Pierro Plate at Randwick on February 12 with a boom on him after three barrier tries.
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While Zoustar’s son was beaten, Snowden was quite happy with his effort to finish a half-length fourth behind Mumbai Jewel.
“I knew for a long time that things weren’t going to work out for him,” said Peter Snowden.
“When he came out (of the barriers) he was going to be caught, so Tommy (Berry) committed to going forward.
“What I liked about his race was how he hooked up.
“He could have gotten his hand up on the furlong and got beaten six (lengths) and that wouldn’t have surprised me, but he really dug the line.
Snowden said he expects to see the colt ridden differently from his wide gate in Sunday’s Group 3.
“He will be better if he rode a bit more calmly and the draw probably helps us do that,” he said.
Stablemate Standing Order also delighted Snowden with his debut second to Williamsburg over 1300m at Newcastle.
The Merchant Navy son also accepted Saturday’s Pago Pago Stakes at Rosehill, but the Snowdens opted to go to Canberra with a better draw.
“I think he ran very well on his debut as well,” he said.
“He is a beautiful horse who has improved even more since this race. His work was really good and Tuesday was excellent.
“I expect to see him run another very good race. He is certainly a horse with talent.
The other element of the day is the National Listed Sprint which Snowden has won three times and is aiming for a fourth win with Aim.
The four-year-old’s form may seem enigmatic with just four wins and a third in 19 starts, but Snowden said the race pattern and track conditions dictated his chances.
“He’s at his best when he’s ridden quietly and goes outside to drop, which doesn’t always happen. He also doesn’t like wet tracks. If it’s worse than a Soft 5 or 6, it just doesn’t perform,” he said.
“Some things have to go in his favor but when they do he’s a damn good horse and a great track like Canberra with a great home run should suit him well.”
ADAM SHERRY’S BEST SELECTIONS
Race 8, #4: METALLICITY
Colt of Boom who provided a difficult effort on his debut to finish fourth near Pierro Plate at Randwick after working forward at the start. Will appreciate being ridden quietly and will have that chance here.
Race 7, #2 AIM
Wasn’t suited by the first heavy track and found himself just over three lengths behind Eleven Eleven in the Magic Millions Cup. A class sprinter when things fall into place.
Race 6, n°7: KEY LARGO
He has finished second in three of his four races this campaign and should have finished much closer when he was fifth at Kensington two races back. Is a winner this track and distance.
Race 5: 1, 3, 7
Race 6: 1, 2, 4
Race 7: 3, 4, 7, 8
Race 8: 2, 3, 7, 8
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Tommy Berry has a solid book of rides, including Metallicity in the Black Opal and Irish Songs in the National Sprint.
DOMESTIC MAIL FOR CANBERRA
Flying Annie kicked off their campaign with a smart win at Scone. Drawn ideally and will be hard to beat. As You Were missed the start on their debut when they finished fourth at Warwick Farm before charging home for a smart win at Goulburn in December. Glamor Runs Deep resumes here after a single start of the last preparation. Impressive first victory 12 months ago. Never Careless was a final winner here at this distance.
Bet: Flying Annie to win.
Let’s Karaka Deel has only one first win to his name, but he is a multi-stakes passer, including a Group 1 SA Derby second. Has three tries under his belt to prepare him for the first 200m and can start with a win. Aurora Florentina gained well over a mile in January and has been right behind them in both races since. Should enjoy going out on a trip. Galierro should have finished closer in a Bm64 at Newcastle’s last start. Rank drop.
Bet: Exacta 9 / 3, 9.
Gusonic made her debut for new trainer Donna Scott with a third at Another One and Tap ‘N’ Run in the Country Championships Qualifier at Wagga three weeks ago. Back in rank and with better physical shape, it will give a boost. Akhtar had convenient form in the city’s last campaign, including a midfield placement. Jac The Great placed two of the three runs of this preparation and performed well on this track. Princess De Roca runs well and deserves to be included in the multiples.
Bet: Gusonic winner.
Important Product followed back-to-back victories at Cowra and Canberra with a strong second place behind Rock Tycoon in the under 60kg at The Valley three weeks ago. Weight loss and can get better. Cavalier Charles won impressively at Sapphire Coast for the first time before a close fourth place in qualifying for the Nationals after being slow. Great luck. Eye See Things got into a back-to-back race at Canterbury and Warwick Farm before disappearing behind Ruby Kisses at the final start. Capable of forward throw.
Bet: Important product to be won. Quinelle/Trifecta 9, 12 / 2, 3, 9, 12.
How Do You Sleep debuts for new coach Garry Kirkup. He nearly broke his maiden at Wyong two starts back while running hard back onto the field. Designed to be prominent. Debutant Jiggler was sidelined after a fine spell at Goulburn in October. From a clever stable and pay to stay safe. Vaaroom picks up here and showed some practical ability, including a first second here. All Astern is a two-year-old talking about older horses. Good start third here.
Bet: How do you sleep each way.
Key Largo is knocking on the door for a win and can break through here. Should have been right at the finish when fifth in Kensington two starts after being held up until the 100m mark. Just beaten by Ranges on the last start from Rosehill. Refreshed for it and is a winner of this track and this distance. The Face weren’t at their best in the spring, but showed plenty of skill, including a win at Randwick and second place finishes behind Forbidden Love and Peltzer. More than capable on this form. Royal Witness and On The Lead are worth including in Exotics.
Bet: Key Largo winner.
Here’s hoping the track continues to improve and can get into the Good range, which will be perfect for Aim to show their best. Designed to sit in midfield or a shade further and come with a barn run on the outside. The cat was fair on both counts after a stint in group company. Will appreciate the downgrade. Irish Songs finished second in Flemington’s last start.
Bet: Aim to win.
Metallicity put in a lot of work early on and bravely went on for a half-length quarter. Likely to be mounted with a cover of the draw and will be very late. Rise Of The Masses was just ahead of Metallicity when third in that race and followed with second place in the Skyline. will be highlighted. Standing Order made a great second ion start over 1300m. Will give a view of the right door. Great Siege was right behind Sandpaper on its debut, but didn’t handle the heavy track on the final start.
Bet: Metallicity to win.
Pink Panther blew away rivals with a nearly seven-length victory at Queanbeyan on February 20 and backed it up with a similar victory at the same track last week. Hardy runs steadily and should break through for another win. Jalamri won well at Nowra two points behind after resisting the turnaround and finished second in a much tougher grade here on the final start. Almahero won’t be far
Bet: Victory of Pink Panther.