Damien Oliver rode Snow Sky for the first time in track work at the Werribee International Equine Centre yesterday morning and he is thrilled with the English stayer ahead of the 2015 Caulfield Cup this weekend.
Snow Sky arrived in Australia on September 26 and has flown under the radar somewhat ahead of the Caulfield Cup, but he did more than enough to impress Oliver in a testing gallop yesterday morning.
Oliver was delighted with the feel that he received from Snow Sky and he told Racing.com that he can’t knock the Nayef entire ahead of the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) this weekend.
“I was really happy with him,” Oliver said.
“He’s a lovely horse, he is nice, relaxed and seems to have acclimatised really well.
“His fitness is great and his recovery was great after the gallop.
“I think it’s all systems go going to next week.
“He’s a lovely horse to ride and he seems really uncomplicated.
“I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Snow Sky has raced at the highest level of racing in the United Kingdom since he finished eighth behind Kingston Hill in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy (1609m) in October of 2013 and he proved his quality when he finished third in the Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (2937m) at Doncaster on September 13 before was a touch disappointing in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin on December 14.
He started his 2015 racing season with a victory in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup (2816m) at York on May 15 and he showed an impressive turn-of-foot when he won the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot on June 20, but he failed to replicate that effort in the Group 1 King George VI Stakes And Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2414m) at Ascot on July 25.
Oliver said that he was extremely impressed with the Hardwicke Stakes victory of Snow Sky and he believes that the four-year-old is good enough to deliver him his first win in the Caulfield Cup since he took out the 1999 edition of the race with Sky Heights.
“Once he declared he was coming, he was certainly on the radar,” Oliver said.
“I’m pretty excited I have got the opportunity to ride him.
“I think he’s in with a great chance as long as everything goes well from here.
“Hopefully (he gets) a good draw.”
Snow Sky is currently available at 2015 Caulfield Cup odds of $17 with Ladbrokes, while Mongolian Khan ($4.80) is now a clear favourite from Fame Game ($8), Hauraki ($9), Set Square ($9) and Hokko Brave ($11).
Leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes is offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% on every single race at Caulfield on Saturday, including the 2015 Caulfield Cup!