Team Snow­den bring­ing the big guns for Golden Rose

The Sportsman Weekend - - Front Page - MATT JONES

I T’S Grand Fi­nal time for many of Aus­tralia’s best three-year-olds. To­mor­row’s Group 1 ATC Golden Rose (1400m) at Rose­hill Gar­dens car­ries a purse of $1m plus the prospect 10 or even 20 times more if the win­ner is a colt.

That cer­tainly ap­plies to Golden Rose favourite Me­nari who is un­beaten this prepa­ra­tion in­clud­ing his record break­ing win over main ri­val Pariah in the Run To The Rose.

Is to­mor­row’s race go­ing the same way or will the un­beaten Melbourne star Mer­chant Nav y spoil the party? Or will one of fil­lies win? Get set for the best Golden Roses y yet.

ME­NARI is the dom­i­nant fa- vourite head­ing into to­mor- row's Group 1$1m Golden Rose (1400m) at Rose­hill Gar­dens, but Team Snow­den is plan­ning an am­bush. Pe­ter and Paul Snow­den will have Pariah, Dracarys and As- sim­i­late in the race and know a thing or two about peak­ing a horse for its grand fi­nal — even if it suf­fered de­feat at a pre­vi­ous start. Me­nari was the classy win­ner of the Run to the Rose (1200m) at Rose­hill on Septem­ber 9, de- feat­ing Pariah by 1.5 lengths in what seemed to be an easy hi-tout for the Ger­ald Ryan-trained Snitzel colt. But don't think he'll get the same cushy run to­mor­row. "It won't be run like the Run to the Rose. There's speed and there's speed there in num­bers so it's a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ket- tle of fish. There are about eight horses that go for­ward, on pa- per," Paul Snow­den said. "You can take out plenty from the Run to the Rose know­ing this is 1400m, a dif­fer­ent dis- tance, dif­fer­ent sce­nario and ev­ery­thing changes. "Our horse can be any­where. He gets rid­den to the pat­tern and the tempo of the race "They're not go­ing to be run- ning slow. If Me­nari wants to dic­tate like he did the other day he's def­i­nitely go­ing to be run- ning time so we'll see if he can run a solid 1400m." Af­ter Me­nari drew out wide in gate 11 he drifted slightly from $1.90 to $2. He firmed dra­mat­i­cally from a $2.50 chance last Satur­day to be as short as $1.90 on Mon­day af­ter bets of $10,000 at $2.50 and $16,000 at $2.30 were taken on Sun­day. Me­nari was best backed in pre-post bet­ting with 36 per cent of the money. While Pariah is Team Snow­den's top seed, other sta­ble run­ners Dracarys and As­simi- late can't be dis­missed ei­ther on cur­rent form. Dracarys fin­ished be­hind sta-ble­mate As­sim­i­late over 1200m in the win­ter, but backed that up last month with a good win against Gold Stan­dard in the Group 3 Up And Com­ing Stakes. Gold Stan­dard has since gone on to win the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes, which gave the Snow­dens more con­fi­dence. "The form, with Gold Stand- ard win­ning, just keeps top­ping up so it can't be a bad thing," Snow­den said. "They're all qual­ity horses. It's like that every year and any- thing can hap­pen in this race and it's a strong field." As­sim­i­late was the eye-catch- er in the Group 3 Ming Dy­nasty Qual­ity on Au­gust 26. He was fly­ing home over the 1400m, and Hugh Bow­man sticks with him af­ter a re­cent 1045m bar­rier trial at Rand­wick where he fin­ished first in 1.02.10, cov­er­ing the fi­nal 600m in 34.70. "All three of my horses go very well so there will be no sur­prises to see them run big races," Snow­den said. "As­sim­i­late and Dracarys are com­ing through a pretty sim­i­lar prepa­ra­tion but the com­mon de- nom­i­na­tor is their form has held up for the past two months. This was be­fore the Me­nari runs came along so they tick a box there. "They'll both run right through the line and will be hard to beat."


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