Pre-race favourite Holy Snow is on trial for a Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign if he can handle the step up to 2000m for the first time in the Group 3 $150,000 IGA Liquor Frank Packer Plate at Randwick on Saturday.
Holy Snow is yet to race beyond 1600m but if he runs out a strong 2000m, Caulfield trainer Mick Price will head to Queensland for the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben on May 26 and the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby over the same course and distance two weeks later.
“At the mile, he’s just grinding in his last furlong, which makes it hard to win good races at the trip,” Price told The Courier-Mail.
“If he shows he can run 2000m, it opens up a lot more options.
“With the Derby back to 2200m this year and around Doomben, it might suit him.”
Holy Snow was in the spotlight during the 2018 Melbourne Autumn Carnival with a win in the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 10 and then finished fifth to his stablemate Grunt in the Group 1 $1m Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3.
Price then turned his attention to the Sydney Autumn Carnival where Holy Snow was placed twice with a second to Unforgotten in the Group 2 $200,000 Chandon S Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 17 followed by a third to Muraaqeb in the Group 3 $200,000 China Horse Club Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Randwick three weeks later on day one of The Championships.
Holy Snow is a firming $3.40 favourite for the Frank Packer Plate with Ladbrokes.com.au and has drawn a midfield barrier at six with Mark Zahra in the saddle replacing Blake Shinn.
On the second line of betting at $5 is the Chris Waller trained Tangled who will be racing with the blinkers back on after finishing third to Levendi in the Group 1 $2m Harrolds Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 7.