Three year old Calanda has been kept fresh in preparation to take on the older horses in the Listed $160,000 Grafton District Services Club Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on Wednesday.
Calanda is coming to the end of a long campaign that saw him score a first up win over 1100m in a BenchMark 78 Handicap at Canterbury on April 17 and then at his sixth run in found the winner’s circle again in an 1100m BenchMark 93 Handicap at Rosehill on July 1.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden has brushed aside fears that Calanda might have trained off and has freshened up the Snitzel gelding for his trip to Grafton.
“The only downside to Calanda is he has had a few runs and a trip to Brisbane and back so that is always in the back of your mind,” Snowden told The Daily Telegraph.
“But in saying that, we have kept him nice and fresh from his win the other day and he really looks well the horse.
“He doesn’t look like he has trained off as yet but you never know until you run them.
“A three-year-old taking on the older horses is never easy but he is in good form and there was a lot of merit in his win the other day and he beat a pretty fair field.”
Doomben 10000 winning jockey Jim Byrne rides Calanda who drew barrier three while the Snowden Racing Team of Peter and son Paul will also saddle up Flippant who drew barrier two in the Ramornie Handicap with Larry Cassidy taking the mount.
Flippant will line up in the Ramornie Hanicap with one run under her belt after finishing fifth to Burning Passion in the Group 3 $175,000 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on June 24.
Peter Snowden was happy with the Hinchinbrook mare’s first up effort and expects her to show quick improvement in the Ramornie Handicap.
“Flippant’s run wasn’t that bad the other day and it was her first run back,” Snowden said.
“Last preparation her first-up run at Caulfield she got into a lot of trouble and she come out and won second-up down the straight at Flemington like a superstar.
“She always takes a run to get to her best and looking at her I don’t think she is far off her best.”
Calanda has been installed the second favourite at $4.60 for the Ramornie Handicap behind the James Cummings trained Badajoz who heads the market order at $4 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Flippant is also well fancied and is on the third line of betting at $6 ahead of the top weight The Monstar at $7.50 and the Ron Quinton trained Boss Lane at $8.50.
Early favourite Badajoz has been a consistent performer for the Godolphin stable this campaign with two seconds followed by a last start win in a 1000m BenchMark 90 Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on Caloundra Cup Day on July 1.