Tracey Bartley was looking for a triumphant farewell from Brisbane with his star Sniper’s Bullet but in the end it was a carnival to forget with two average runs leading into a Stradbroke where he beat home only a couple of runners.
He may be brought out for one more go during the spring carnival and potentially even a summer in Perth but on the surface it looks like Snipers Bullet’s career is virtually over.
As a result Bartley will be turning his focus to two other ‘snipers’ this weekend, horses he’d love to even get to half the level Sniper’s Bullet got to during his prime.
General’s Sniper and Slick Sniper are the charges he hopes will bring him carnival glory into the future but first they need to make their way through the grades.
While they both have city class experience, neither are yet to make a real impact and Bartley will use different paths to try and bring out their best.
Both horses are dual nominees for Benchmark 80 races at Rosehill on Saturday as well as for the Wauchope Cup at Port Macquarie the next day, however Bartley will be splitting them up.
“At this stage, Slick will be going to the Wauchope Cup and General’s Sniper will run in the race in town,” Bartley said.
“I’m not sure if Slick runs 1800 metres on those heavy tracks. On the dry it’s no problem but it becomes more like a 2000-metre race on the heavy.”
Slick Sniper has plenty of expectation on his shoulders being a full brother to the multi-million dollar earning Snipers Bullet.
General’s Sniper isn’t quite as direct in pedigree but at four-years-old, her racing career has only just got started.
She also has the claim of the most recent win, taking out a Canterbury race on a Heavy track after leading throughout.
It was a change in racing pattern that paid off after being used as a get back horse earlier on.
“I thought she could win at Scone a couple of starts ago but she couldn’t get to the lead,” Bartley said.
“She’s not a chaser, she needs to roll up on the speed. He (Adam Hyeronimus) rode her really nicely last start.”
Slick Sniper is now six-year-old and the clock is ticking on his prospects at becoming a top level horse.
He won at Randwick on Anzac Day and threatened in the Scone Cup to finish four but his last two performances have left a lot to be desired.
Bartley says the eight day backup between runs contributed to the tired showing and is confident that after a longer break he’ll be back to competing at his best.
In terms of big brother Bullet Bartley says the horse is in good order following the Stradbroke and that they might even give him one more chance before he goes to the spelling paddock.
“He didn’t have a lot of luck in the Stradbroke,” Bartley said.
“(Jockey) Michael Rodd was very happy with him and we’re in two minds whether to run him here (in Sydney) in the Winter Stakes.
“I need to speak to the handicapper about what weight he’ll get, although it’s a quality so he’ll probably get the top weight.
“There is a big chance he’ll run in that.”
The Winter Stakes is a Listed event at Rosehill over 1500m on July 15th.