The win of Tatra in the Group 2 $350,000 Sportingbet Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Sportingbet Sandown Park today capped off a good ending to the Melbourne Spring Carnival for the Darley stable.
Darley’s number one trainer Peter Snowden saddled up Mental to take out the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday and wrapped up the Carnival by winning and running third with Proverb in the Guineas.
The Bart Cummings trained Lunar Rise split the Darley pair in a tight photo after beating Tatra at Flemington two weeks ago.
Melbourne’s stable foreman Paul Snowden said he found it hard to spilt his two runners going into the race and was not surprised to see such a small margin between then at the finish.
“There’s a split nut between them and they’re going to get their right runs on Saturday,” Snowden had said earlier in the week.
“And it was tooth and nail right down to the wire for both horses,” Snowden said.
“As we seen in the Golden Rose there is nothing better than seeing your own horses fighting out the finish, so it was a good result.”
The Snowden stable started the Spring off in fine style with Epaulette and Albrecht fighting out the finish of the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 15 and have carried that success right through the Spring to take out the last Group race of the Carnival.
Peter Snowden admitted that Tatra and Proverb were just off top class and set them for this race at the end of the Carnival.
“It’s a good race to win, it’s a good money race, but it’s a hard race to keep a horse up for because a fair few of them, the Carnival empties them out before they get here,” Peter Snowden said.
“These are two horses we identified fairly early in the Carnival. I thought they are not A graders, not Guineas horses, but they’re the next level down and they almost quinellaed it.”
Lunar Rise started the $5 favourite and failed by a head to run down Tatra ($5.50) with Proverb ($7) only a nose away in third spot in one of the closest finishes of the day.