He’s the gallant warhorse that few would be disappointed to see cross the line first in tomorrow’s Stradbroke Handicap but on paper the task ahead of Snipers Bullet looks next to impossible.
He won the event in his very first attempt in 2007 but twice since he’s tried and failed leaving him with a third and final shot at replicating the past glory.
He’s the horse that put trainer Tracy Bartley on the map and there’s no doubt the Brisbane Winter Carnival is a special place for her as it’s where the incredible journey all began.
It was Sniper’s Bullet’s 11th career start when he won the Stradbroke in 2007 and from there he’s taken his trainer and connections to a level they never dreamed of.
He has to deal with 56kg’s tomorrow at Eagle Farm and start the trek from wide in barrier 22.
It’s his toughest assignment yet after running 12th in 2008 and then dead last in 2009.
He didn’t run in 2010 but Bartley is refusing to give up on the gelding which changed her life forever.
“I’m very happy with him and I’m sure he’ll run really well,” Bartley said.
“There’s no way he’s a 50-to-one chance.”
His lead up to the Stradbroke hasn’t been overly impressive running last in the BTC Cup and then finishing more than four lengths away fifth in the Doomben 10,000.
Bartley isn’t worried by that form and is even dismissive of the wide alley.
“He has drawn pretty ordinary tomorrow but his best runs in big races have been when he’s been out wide anyway,” Bartley said.
“He has got to go better than he did the other day but I reckon he still ran a good race in the 10,000.
“Had he drawn closer (than barrier seven of seven) he would have probably been one out and one back instead of out the back and I’m sure he would have finished a couple of lengths closer.
“And he’s done well in the past fortnight.”
The Stradbroke Handicap will be his final run in Brisbane before he is spelled and then sent down to Melbourne for the spring.
All things going to plan he will finish his career over in Perth at the end of the year.
In addition to the 2007 Stradbroke Sniper’s Bullet won the 2009 Railway Stakes in Perth as well as the Kingston Town Classic the same carnival.
Bartley is wary of not pushing the rising eight-year-old too far and with his best racing behind him she’s happy to be calling it a day.
“He’s done us proud,” she said.
“He’s been a blessing for me as a trainer, he’s really made us, and myself and the owners are very grateful for him.”