For a trainer predisposed to patience, Peter Snowden is the first to acknowledge he is stepping outside his comfort zone by pitting Sangria against some of the country’s best fillies.
The decision to run her in the Light Finger Stakes has been anything but rash and is a sign of the high regard he has for the lightly raced three-year-old.
“I don’t very often do this, throw them into deep water without any floaties on,” Snowden said.
“She is only lightly raced but all her runs have been fantastic and she might have a bit of a fitness edge, which will work in her favour come Saturday on the wet track.”
Sangria has raced five times for three wins, all in much lesser grade than she will meet in Saturday’s Group Two Light Fingers (1200m) at Randwick featuring Group One winners Kiamichi, Lyre and Flit and Group One-placed Libertini.
But the manner of her victories has suggested a much deeper well and after she resumed with a facile win at Gosford, Snowden felt compelled to raise the bar.
“I wanted to see what she did at Gosford, albeit in a lot lesser grade, but just to see how well she went, and she passed with flying colours,” Snowden said.
“The other fillies like Flit and Kiamichi are seasoned campaigners so she’s going to find it tough.
“They’ve had another preparation and gone to Group One level, a different level to what she’s been racing.
“But it’s worthwhile trying. If she runs really well I know she can measure up to them and she will be better throughout the prep.”
Sangria will be joined in the Light Fingers by stablemate Missile Mantra, another promising filly who makes her Sydney debut.
Beaten in a photo finish by Flit in the Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield, Missile Mantra is on a path towards the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).
Snowden, who trains alongside son Paul, expects Missile Mantra to find Saturday’s distance short of her best but says the filly is flying and has made significant improvement during her break.
“I almost went another race with her last prep but I thought she was a little bit immature and had run the race of her life in the Guineas and just come up a little bit short,” Snowden said.
“I tipped her out and it’s probably the best decision I’ve made in ages because she’s a much, much stronger horse this preparation than last time.
“She probably can’t win Saturday but it will be no surprise to see her run very well.”