PETER and Paul Snowden have revealed their potential top liner Defcon will make its eagerly awaited debut in the Canonbury Stakes at Rosehill this Saturday.
Stablemate to Magic Millions winner and Golden Slipper favourite Capitalist, Defcon will kick off its career in the $150,000 Group 3 race after winning a barrier trial.
The trial was so impressive that Sportsbet.com.au have Deacon, a $340k purchase from the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, on the third line of betting at $17 to take out the Slipper and Peter Snowden is now convinced it is ready to make its race day debut.
“I'm happy with Defcon and he will probably run in the Canonbury,” Snowden said.
“He has made good improvement from his two trials this month.”
Snowden also stated that star two-year-old Capitalist has returned to his base at Randwick in preparation for a tilt at the Group 1 Golden Slipper.
“Capitalist has freshened up nicely since the Magic Millions,” Snowden said.
“Our plan is to take him along gradually and run him in the Todman Stakes.”
Also on the Golden Slipper path is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Scarlet Rain which remained unbeaten last Saturday.
The chestnut filly showed a clean pair of heels at Randwick and race rider Tim Clark sees no reason why it can't compete with the very best.
“A typical Gai two-year-old – jump, run, win,” Clark said. “She is a push-button two-year-old.
“She had a good blow after that and was probably getting a bit tired on the line. She is a good sized filly, strongly built, so I can't see why she won't be competitive in those Slipper lead-ups.”
It hasn't all been good news for Scarlet Rain which was scratched the week prior after taking some skin off its knee, but it didn't deter the two-year-old from making it two-from-two on the track.
“Last week, I didn't think she was her normal, bright self and I thought, I'll give her another week, it is not going to matter, and it didn't one iota,” Waterhouse said.
Scarlet Rain is currently a $21 chance with CrownBet.com.au for the 2016 Golden Slipper and Waterhouse relates it to another stable star.
“She is in the Golden Slipper now,” Waterhouse said. “She is a gorgeous-looking filly and very talented.
“An absolute natural, who does with ease, and has the most wonderfully efficient action the way she skips over the ground.
“She doesn't care if it is dry or wet, she is [a] really talented filly. She reminds me very much of Sweet Idea.”
Godolphin on track for Blue Diamond Stakes
John O'Shea lines up Cohesian at Randwick on Australia Day, but he thinks stablemate and Gimcrack winner Calliope is the filly to take home the prize.
“We're going to want to have a presence in the Blue Diamond Stakes for sure, but if we're lucky enough to win it, I reckon it will be with a filly called Calliope,” O'Shea said.
Calliope is a $13 chance for the Blue Diamond with stablemate Cohesion on the fourth line of betting at $15.
“He's [Cohesion] a little one-dimensional, a fast colt. He'll give them something to chase on Tuesday, but the filly [Calliope] is better,” O'Shea said.
“We're keen to give him another crack at the straight,” O'Shea said.
“There were bits and pieces that may have explained his poor performance there last spring, so we're prepared to have another go.
“He's a high class sprinter and he's probably a bit in the mould of Choisir.”
Famous white filly bought by Japanese interests
The rare white filly by High Chaparral x The Opera House has been purchased by Japanese interests at the 2016 Karaka Yearling Sale on Monday.
Hideo Takadura purchased the star filly for $NZ450,000 based on viewing videos on the internet, in which he became attracted to the yearling and set out to buy it for his Dearest Club in Japan.
“She was the horse I came here to buy and she is the only one I wanted,” Takadura said. “When I saw that video of her on the internet I knew she is the sort of horse I wanted to buy.
“I was interested in both her physique and her pedigree. The price was very high, but I am very happy!”
The filly is a three-quarter sister to Might And Power and even though its future will predominately be in Japan, the owners haven't ruled out keeping it to race in New Zealand.
“I want her to be a broodmare in Japan and breed her to Deep Impact,” Takadura said. “I have not decided yet whether she will race here or in Japan.”
Unusual coloured horses attract big crowds in Japan and this High Chaparral filly will be the talking point once it hits the track.
Goulburn trainer has lofty expectations for Country Championships
Goulburn-based trainer John Bateman is expecting big things for his five-year-old Lofty's Menu ahead of a $100,000 race on February 20.
Lofty's Menu will be vying to qualify for the Country Championship Final worth $400,000 in April by winning the qualifier at Goulburn and the home track advantage should make it tough to beat.
Following a jump out this Thursday, Bateman will head to Canterbury for a 1250-metre benchmark rating 72 race on February 3 before returning back to Goulburn for the qualifying race.
“He's coming along really nicely and the riders that have been on him have been very happy with him,” Bateman said.
“His form reads well but it's not going to be easy. I'm sure Nick Olive and Matty Dale will have something in it that will go alright.”
There are six weeks in between the Goulburn qualifier and the Final, so Bateman will have to carefully plan its path should it gain entry.
“Because there is six weeks in between he will probably need a run,” Bateman said.
“If he qualifies it doesn't really matter what race we go to after that – we might be able to find a suitable race in town for him, possibly another 1400 metre race.
“He's a bit older now and he doesn't need a lot of gallops, he just does a lot of pace work.”
Sportsbet.com.au have yet to list Lofty's Menu in the Country Championship market, but punters can still bet on Atom Eve which has looked very special remaining unbeaten from three starts.
Atom Eve showed great heart in winning last Saturday and the $10 available looks like a good bet.