The Snowden’s trained star colt Capitalist, who took out the Wyong race in 2015, went on to claim success in both the Gold Coast feature and the Golden Slipper the following year.
Sovereign Fund has impressed both the stable and champion jockey James McDonald, who believe he’s got what it takes to take out the $2m Gold Coast 2Y0 Classic in January.
“It was a tradesman like performance today,” McDonald said, after bringing up a treble with the win. “He’s a ready-made two-year-old, big and strong, and he’ll cope with a preparation that’s involved with getting him to the Gold Coast.
“If he improves off the win today, and he should, he’s got the tactical speed and is tough enough to be a good chance. He’s a nice horse.”
Paul Snowden agreed Sovereign Fund had the ability to win the Gold Coast feature. He’s come a long way in a short space of time.
“This has always been the main form race going north and he’s a pretty strong and tough. He will improve off today’s win and has the constitution to get up there in good order.
“He was a very unassuming horse early, very shy and didn’t like to be cluttered up around other runners, which was very evident in his first trial. We’ve done a lot of work with him on the track and tinkering with a bit of gear. He keeps ticking boxes and putting his hand up.”
Snowden said they had been confident leading into the race.
“What gave us confidence today was the initial fast tempo and the fact we drew so well. If everything jumped clean and decided to put tempo into the race, when knew we’d get a lovely cart into the race.
“James summed it up particularly well and he was the strongest late, which is what we wanted him to be.”
Sovereign Fund, a $550,000 Magic Millions yearling, earned late support starting at $6 on the back of his recent trial at Canterbury, where he finished second behind The Novelist, a subsequent Kembla winner.
He is now listed as an $11 chance at the Gold Coast and will join stable mates Empire Of Japan, the current $5 favourite and Godfather $11.
Dubbo galloper Quasimoto ($51) flashed down the outside to finish second, giving trainer Clint Lundholm a “great thrill.”
Summer Loving ($4), trained by Waterhouse/Bott was third, while the Widdup trained $3.70 favourite, Fire Lane, finished fourth.
Hell I Am, a $150,000 Magic Millions yearling, was sent out $2.70 favourite and the win was never in doubt, courtesy of another great ride by James McDonald.
He had intended to go back from the outside barrier, but a muddling start landed him just behind the front runners.
It turned out to be the perfect spot, with Hell I Am hitting the front on straightening and speeding away in the final stages to win by almost two lengths.
The Hellbent gelding came into the race with impressive form, putting together three wins in his previous preparation, all on rain affected tracks.
Punters were confident a good track wouldn’t affect him, and they weren’t disappointed.
Shalailed was impressive in defeat, with the stable sharing a good opinion of the Shalaa colt.
Racing Manager Alex Maher was full of praise for McDonald.
“What a ride. We didn’t expect him to be up there, but it all panned out pretty well. He’s a lovely horse going forward. He’s a lot more mature than he was and has grown up a bit,” Maher said.
“I wouldn’t write off the second horse, he’s also a lovely horse. It’s good to see them both performing on top of the ground. They’ll both have one more run now and then head to the Gold Coast.”
Hell I Am now shares equal favouritism at $8 for the race and McDonald is a fan.
“He only had one soft trial coming into this but has come on immensely from that. He felt terrific on top of the ground and is a lovely horse.”
It was a fight to the line for the two greys Jack Duggan and Youthfull in the MAINSTREAM FINANCE SERVICES PTY LTD BM64 (2100m) with the $2.50 favourite Jack Duggan getting the bob on the line.
Jason Deamer’s American import brought up his third win at start 14, with Tim Clark in the saddle.
The five-year-old outstayed Youthfull ($3.90) in the final stages, the Brad Widdup trained mare, wayward in the straight.
Deamer was pleased with the efforts of his five-year-old gelding, raced by Dynamic Syndications, having his first outing at the 2100m.
“It was a real staying test, and he was strong at the finish,” he said. “Tim rode him very well. He put him to sleep, and he relaxed nicely and was able to sit and smoke his pipe until he pushed the go button. He had a fight on his hands but got the job done. It was great to see him back to the winner’s stall today.”
Chappelli ($7.50) trained by David Payne was third.
The four-year-old broke through for his maiden at Kembla on November 22 over the 1400m and made short work of his opponents at Wyong, looking the winner a long way from home.
He was sent out at $1.65 favourite and given a super ride by James McDonald, just behind the leaders. He took him to the front on straightening, riding hands and heels to the line to win by a length and a half.
“We are looking forward to bigger and better things,” Racing Manger Alex Maher said. “He’s one of the better imports we’ve had, and John has a good opinion of him.”
McDonald agreed in his first ride back from Hong Kong after being named the Worlds’ Best Jockey.
“He’s a lovely horse. Still a bit new but he’s got plenty of pace and a good mind and that will take him a long way.”
Wayne Seelin’s Every Effort ($61) put in an improved performance to finish second on his home track, over another local Damien Lane’s Oakfield Redgum ($8).
It looked like a Godolphin victory in the 1350m GOLD COAST YEARLING SALE 10-16 JAN MAIDEN, but the stewards had other ideas upholding a protest by the ridder of the runner-up Josh Parr.
Aboard the Mark Newnham trained Wild Irish Rover ($3.40), Parr claimed interference in the final 50m after he was bumped by Mr Wallace ($2.20fav), ridden by his brother-in-law Tim Clark.
With only a nose separating them on the line, it was always going to be a touch and go decision, with stewards awarding the win to Parr after a lengthy protest.
The winner, having his sixth career start, was coming off a third on the Beaumont track on November 22, when he was beaten less than a length over the same distance.
The Snowden trained Nullify ($4.80) finished third.
Trained by Greg McFarlane, the Your Song mare, gave Tim Clark a winning double.
The five-year-old caught the eye with a second at her previous start over the 1100m at Gosford on November 30.
She was backed in from $9 to $3.70 favourite returning some big bets.
McFarlane believes Your Song is up to Metropolitan grade.
“It was a brilliant win today. She looked to have left plenty in the tank and I think she’s a city horse,” he said. “We’ve taken our time with her, and she’s come along leaps and bounds. She just needed time to find her feet and hopefully its onwards and upwards now.”
Damien Lane’s Oakfield Mahogany ($4) was second, with O’Not A Doubt ($31) trained by Joseph Khalifeh, third.
The powerful Lees stable wasn’t to be denied on the day, taking out the last with Australian Bloodstock four-year-old Mobstar ($9.50).
Dylan Gibbons came from the rear of the field on the turn, storming down the to win win by more than two lengths, eased down on the line.
Stable representative Cameron Swan said Mobstar had returned a much better horse.
“I was watching the racing and thinking Dylan had plenty of horse and just needed the luck to get out and when he did, he put them to bed very quickly,” Swan said.
“He showed a really good turn of foot and has come back a much better horse.
Claire Lever’s Grace Bay ($3.80) finished second, ahead of another Lees runner Terrameades ($10) third.