Dual acceptors Sizzling and Pinwheel will both take their place in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes field at Caulfield on Saturday.
Sizzling from the all-conquering Chris Waller stable and the Peter Snowden trained Pinwheel both accepted in the Group 2 $250,000 Schweppes Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick as well as the Group 1 $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m).
Waller’s new stable acquisition Sizzling and eight year old Pinwheel both resumed from a summer break in the Group 2 $200,000 SCSI Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Randwick two weeks ago and finished third and fourth respectively to the Guy Walter trained Appearance.
But the prospect of them being able to take their place in a small Group 1 field with only a couple of genuine chances was enough to tempt both camps to switch their attention to the Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Also Waller will be strongly represented in the Apollo Stakes with Boban who will be trying to put his career back on track after a disappointing first up effort in the Expressway and Moriarty who will be trying to find a bit of form for the longer races later in the Autumn Carnival.
While Snowden will be giving Pinwheel another chance to win his initial Group 1 as the eight year old is getting closer to the end of his prolonged career.
Pinwheel has had eight attempts at Group 1 level since he began his racing career in a three year old maiden at Canterbury in 2008 with his best result being a third to Lone Rock in the 2011 Group 1 $350,000 Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.
The Lonhro gelding also performed well at Group 1 level with a fourth to Mid Summer Music in the 2012 Group 1 $1m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm and a fourth to Barakey in the 2012 $500,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth.
“He is an eight-year-old now, I’m conscious of that, but his work is very sharp,” Snowden told The Daily Telegraph.
“His first-up run was good because he had to do a bit early to get across from an awkward gate and that took the sting out of his finish. He still tried very hard and just missed third.
“This is the way he races every start — gives it everything. Group 1 wins have eluded him but he’s still got a very good race record, winning a couple of Warwick Stakes.
“It would be tremendous if he could finally win a Group 1 race. This might be his last chance to win a major.’’
Snowden, who has trained twenty-eight Group 1 winners for Darley, will vacate his job as head trainer at the end of May and would dearly love Pinwheel, one of his favourite horses in the Darley stable, to salute at the highest level.
“From the start at Darley, Pinwheel has been with me,’’ Snowden said.
“He has never been a champion horse by any means but he’s a real favourite of mine.
“The effort he puts into his races is astronomical. He has been a fantastic horse for us year after year — and a ‘gentleman’ around the stable.’’
The Gai Waterhouse trained Bull Point has been elevated to the head of the Ladbrokes.com.au Futurity Stakes market order and is now the $2.90 favourite ahead of Caulfield track specialist Moment Of Change at $3.
The Peter Moody trained five year old is undefeated from three starts over the 1400m at Caulfield and is aiming for back to back Group 1 wins after leading all of the way to nose out Eurozone in the $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield two weeks ago.
Sizzling is next in the betting at $7 ahead of Victoria Derby winner Polanski while Pinwheel has been marked an $11 chance.