Darley's Tatra has ground out a tight win in the $350,000, Group 2 Sportingbet Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Sandown on the Hillside course on Saturday to hand trainer Peter Snowden his third win in the race in the last four years.
Tatra holds off Lunar Rise and Proverb in the Sandown Guineas, picture quentinjlang.com
The gutsy Hussonet colt just held out Lunar Rise (Starcraft) and Hugh Bowman, and stablemate Proverb (Commands) and Steven Arnold, to match the result Snowden enjoyed in 2008 with Caymans, and a year later with Kidnapped.
Lunar Rise, who narrowly beat home Tatra two weeks back in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes over 1600m at Flemington on November 3rd, looked like he was going to go past the winner 100m from home but Snowden’s galloper refused to give in under jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
The margins were a long head and a short half-head. The time was 1.36.77 on the Good 3 track with the final 600m in 34.99.
Tatra qpened up favourite in the market on tab.com.au and he drifted out in the betting to start the race at $5.50.Some canny TAB customers pounced by outlaying $1,000 @ $6 on Tatra (twice). Other wagers included 1,000 @ $5.50, $1,000 @ $4.80.
“I could here Lunar Rise and the other horse coming at me but my fella just dug deep,” McEvoy said.
“There was not much in it but we were able to get a nice trip throughout.
“He is no world beater but he’s a good old grinder and gives his best.
“He has always shown nice promise and he has gotten stronger and better throughout his preparation last time and this time as well.
“Up on the speed here today he toughed it out well. It was good to win this race again,” he said.
The Guineas win was a plan hatched well before the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival by Snowden, who purposely targeted the race with Tatra and Proverb.
“These are two horses we identified fairly early in the carnival,” Snowden said.
“We thought well they are not A-graders, they’re not [Caulfield] Guineas horses but they are the next level down and they almost quinellad it.
“It is a good race to win, it is a good money race but it is a hard race to get a horse up for.
“He [Tatra] is not top grade. Placed right to advantage he is a very handy horse but he’s just not A-Grade.
“Full credit to [Melbourne foreman] Paul [Snowden] and his team he has done a fantastic job,” he said.
Tatra, picture quentinjlang.com