Jon Snow set for Tren­tham

Book­mak­ers in­stall him sec­ond favourite for Cap­tain Cook Stakes

The New Zealand Herald - - Super Sport / Racing -

Awet track at Tren­tham could make to­mor­row’s Gr.1 Ry­dges Welling­ton Cap­tain Cook Stakes (1600m) some­thing of a lot­tery, ac­cord­ing to lead­ing jockey Matthew Cameron, but he reck­ons he might still be hold­ing the win­ning ticket.

Cameron will part­ner the Mur­ray Baker and An­drew Fors­man-trained Jon Snow, fresh­ened from fin­ish­ing last in the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in Oc­to­ber.

The If­fraaj five-year-old en­tire re­turned to New Zealand after that race, won a 1200m trial at Mata­mata last week on a slow track and now shoots for his sec­ond Group One suc­cess after his Aus­tralian Derby (2400m) win on a heavy Rand­wick sur­face last year.

“He was su­per in that trial, just cruised along and did his thing. He won re­ally nicely,” Cameron said.

“He loved that cut in the ground which he’s go­ing to get on Satur­day too. He’s got the best cre­den­tials of any horse in the race, he’s sharper for that trial and he gets con­di­tions to suit. Rac­ing at Tren­tham when the track gets wet like it will be be­comes a bit of a gam­ble but I’m happy to be on my bloke.”

TAB book­mak­ers in­stalled Jon Snow a $4.80 sec­ond favourite for the Cap­tain Cook and trimmed his price to $4.50 when Wyn­d­spelle was with­drawn yes­ter­day, with Danz­danz­dance firm­ing to $3.80 favouritism.

The Tren­tham track had im­proved from a Heavy10 to a Slow9 read­ing yes­ter­day morn­ing.

While Jon Snow has just won once in 11 starts in New Zealand, he has placed sev­eral times in Group com­pany, most no­tably his Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) third plac­ing, which fol­lowed his plac­ings in the Gr.1 Levin Clas­sic (1600m) at Tren­tham and Karaka 3YO Mile (1600m) at Eller­slie. He has won three times in Aus­tralia and just three starts back fin­ished third in the Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flem­ing­ton, hav­ing re­sumed with a fourth plac­ing in the Gr.1 Tarzino Tro­phy (1400m) at Hast­ings.

“If he can bring his best Aus­tralian form, he could win by two or three lengths,” Cameron said. “I’m ex­cited to ride him. He puts him­self in the first two or three and he’s fit and ready to go.”

Ear­lier, Cameron will part­ner the Baker-Fors­man-trained debu­tante Aretha in the Gr.2 Anuka Smoker Wake­field Chal­lenge Stakes (1100m) for two-year-olds.

Un­beaten in two tri­als, Aretha in­her­ited favouritism yes­ter­day when Ap­pel­lant was with­drawn.

“She’s been good at the tri­als,” Cameron said. “But it’s so hard to get a line on how she’ll han­dle a wet Tren­tham track. Her tri­als have been good and she’s a nat­u­ral two-year-old but you never know how a young horse is go­ing to han­dle Tren­tham and get­ting across the junc­tion for the first time.

“She’s just got to do it all right. But she should be a lit­tle pro­fes­sional, be­ing with Mur­ray and An­drew, and if she does it all prop­erly, she should go well.”

Photo / B Pho­tog­ra­phy

Jon Snow is shoot­ing for his sec­ond Group One suc­cess after his Aus­tralian Derby win last year.

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