It wasn’t the 3200 metres race Peter Snowden wanted to win at the start of the spring but he was more than happy to settle for the consolation prize of the Sandown Cup with Carif.
Carif’s goal at the start of the carnival was the Melbourne Cup but the five-year-old stallion didn’t get into the field.
“It wasn’t the two-mile race that we were after but at least it was two miles and it was good to see him win,” Snowden said.
It was only Carif’s third win and his first in 419 days, coming at his 28th start.
Snowden said jockey-of-the-moment Jamie Kah gave him a perfect ride.
Snowden described Carif as a really nice horse and one he’s still considering gelding.
“I don’t like to tell him that he’s going to get gelded but it just might be the making of the horse,” Snowden said.
He said if he was gelded it could make him a bit more genuine and improve his attitude.
“He’s a great worker, sound as a pound, he’s a good eater, everything you want to see in a staying horse but he just lacks a turn of foot and that might come,” Snowden said.
The Cup victory gave Kah her second winner for the meeting as she also won on Shamino.
Kah positioned Carif in fourth position behind a fast speed set by Lofty Heights, San Huberto and Naval Warfare.
“It worked out perfectly. The Snowden team wanted me to be there (in the run) and I thought, ‘I don’t know if I can do that from barrier 11’ but there was a bit of speed early and we got into a perfect spot,” Kah said.
“He gave me a beautiful ride. He’s the ideal horse to ride in these races. You can slot him in, you can go, you can ride. Made my job easy.”
Kah said she may have got to the front too early but he was too good for his rivals.
Mark Zahra, who rode second placegetter Realm Of Flowers, lodged a protest for interference in the closing stages but that was quickly dismissed by Racing Victoria stewards.
Carif ($4.80) held off Realm Of Flowers ($14) by a short neck with San Huberto ($12) a length away third.