Melbourne Cup winning jockey Blake Shinn will be the new rider for boom colt Defcon when he lines up in the Group 3 $200,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for the Colts and Geldings at Caulfield on February 13.
Brenton Avdulla rode Defcon on debut when second to the John O’Shea trained Tessera in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden was critical of Avdulla’s ride, saying he let the colt stride too far from home, but added that Shinn was always going to get back aboard when the weights were suitable.
“Blake rides for these owners,” Peter Snowden told Racenet.
“The only reason he didn’t ride him on Saturday was because of the weights. He couldn’t do the 54.5kg.”
“He (Avdulla) went too early.”
“The sectional splits will tell you that. He made too much use of him between the 600 and 200-metres.”
Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul, said that Defcon has pulled up in fine shape following his first up second and will continue to head to the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 27 with his next start being in the Blue Diamond Prelude.
“The horse has come through the run fine,” Snowden said.
“It has always been the plan to head towards the Blue Diamond so he will go to the preview in two weeks.”
Defcon went to the races at Rosehill on Saturday with a huge wrap on him, but surprisingly drifted in the Canonbury Stakes betting from $2 to start the equal second favourite at $4 with the winner Tessera while the money came for the Gerald Ryan trained first starter Star Of Monsoon who was sent out the popular pick at $3.40 but could only finish in fourth spot.
The Mick Price trained Extreme Choice remains the favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au at $6 for the Blue Diamond Stakes while Defcon has drifted from $7 to the $9 third pick with the John O’Shea trained Calliope splitting that pair at $8.