Co-trainer Peter Snowden has revealed that promising mare Mahara could be set for the 2015 Coolmore Classic during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Mahara showed that she was capable of performing at Stakes level when she finished second in the Group 3 The Aspiration (1600m) and fourth in the Group 3 Percy Sykes Tribute Stakes (1900m) while under the care of Guy Walter during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and she maintained that form for Team Snowden in the spring.
The Hussonet mare returned to racing with a fast0finishing fifth behind Woodbine in The Paslode Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 28 and she returned to winning form in the City Tattersalls Club Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on October 18 before she recorded her maiden win at black type level in the Group 3 The Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
Snowden admits that Mahara will need to show plenty at the start of her autumn campaign to be worthy of a place in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14, but told Racing Ahead that he is confident the five-year-old has the talent to compete in the Group 1 event.
“We are aiming high with her as well and I think she is definitely a Coolmore horse,” Snowden said.
“That will be in the foremost of our mind this preparation and the races we give her through to that.
“At the moment it is probably third-up if all goes well.
“Her form has to warrant that, but I think she showed enough last time that she could be a chance in a race like that.”
Another Team Snowden-trained mare that could be heading towards a race like the Coolmore Classic is Gypsy Diamond.
Gypsy Diamond was most impressive during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival when she won the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) and finished a close second in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m), but she failed to fire in five race starts during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Snowden takes responsibility for the poor form of Gypsy Diamond during her spring campaign and he believes that the Not A Single Doubt mare is capable of returning to her best during the autumn.
“She was a little disappointing last prep and I put it down to her first couple of runs on a heavy track,” Snowden said.
“Even though she does handle soft ground, I just think going to the level she was racing and being a bit soft took more out of her than I thought.
“I blame myself a bit for that preparation, but hopefully this preparation we don’t make the same mistakes and we can get a better result for her.
“She is a really gifted filly and I do believe there is better things to come from her if we can get her right.”
Snowden is chasing his first win in the Coolmore Classic after finishing fourth with Neroli in 2010 and fifth with the same mare in 2009.