Looking to make mark in Melbourne
Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman’s assault on the riches of the Melbourne Spring Carnival is starting to gain momentum as witnessed by Jon Snow’s game performance at Flemington on Saturday.
The former Gr.1 ATC Derby (2400m) winner showed he is right on track for the staying features on offer over the next two months when he fought doggedly to snatch third in the Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) behind impressive winner Grunt.
The Iffraaj five-year-old performed with distinction in Melbourne last spring where he captured the Gr.3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley, and a third placing in the Gr.1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) before producing a creditable effort when unplaced in the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) to round out his campaign.
“I thought he was very good on Saturday as it was only his second run back and he will take a ton of improvement from it,” Baker said.
“It was an outstanding field with nine Group One winners in it, so to see him fight on so strongly was very pleasing. The track was also pretty firm which isn’t really to his liking, although he has pulled up well this morning so he’s definitely on the way up.”
Baker will now consider a start in the Gr.1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 30 for his charge, a race where he could be joined by stablemate Bonneval who kicked off her campaign with an unplaced run at Moonee Valley last weekend.
“I’m not quite sure where we will go next with Jon Snow but the Underwood at Caulfield is a likely option for him,” he said.
“Bonneval is going there as well and I will be looking for an improved showing from her.”