Leading trainer Peter Snowden will have three runners in the 2013 VRC Sprint Classic field at Flemington on Saturday and is really pleased with the condition of all three of his runners heading into the Group 1 event.
The Darley team won the VRC Sprint Classic (known then as the Patinack Farm Classic) in 2012 with Mental and the leading racing operation will have Epualette, Sidestep and Sessions in the field for the 2013 edition of the race.
Two-time Group 1 winner Epaulette has not been seen at the races since he finished a disappointing seventh in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 27 and Snowden told Sky Racing HQ that the Commands entire has been set specifically for this race.
“Epaulette has been prepared especially for this,” Snowden said.
“Since his Moir run he has been put away and freshened specifically with this in mind.
“He had a jump-out down the straight two weeks ago, which he handled terrific.
“He has been good since and should be running well.”
Sidestep returned to the races for the first time since his fourth place finish in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) with a fair effort behind Zoustar in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday; finishing sixth after over racing in the early stages of the race.
Snowden said that the Exceed And Excel colt had pulled up well following the run and, after much deliberation, decided to give the Golden Slipper runner-up his first opportunity in open company.
“Sidestep has come through his run well from last Saturday,” Snowden said.
“I thought long and hard about running him but just the way that the horse bounced back, he deserves a crack.
“I thought his run wasn’t too bad the other day; he emptied out late but he pulled quiet fiercely.
“They are tragic races, you think straight races are easy, but sometimes it is even harder to get the right run.”
The lightly-raced Sessions made his Group 1 debut in the Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and finished a very impressive third, behind Buffering and Lucky Nine, after being caught wide in the early stages of the race.
Snowden said that he was delighted with the effort of the Lonhro entire and is confident that the four-year-old is an excellent chance in the VRC Sprint Classic on Saturday.
“Sessions is coming off what I thought was a career best run in the Manikato at Moonee Valley,” Snowden said.
“I thought his run was excellent and if he can reproduce that form here he is going to be hard to beat.”
All three Darley runners are available at double figure odds in 2013 VRC Sprint Classic betting markets; with Hong Kong sprinter Lucky Nine ($3.90) a clear favourite from Manikato Stakes winner Buffering ($7.50) and two-time Group 1 winning mare Platelet ($8).