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Mafia overcomes minor setback ahead of Randwick mission

A dominant first-up win has Peter Snowden optimistic that Mafia can extend his distance range this campaign, although the trainer isn't ready to test the theory just yet.

An $850,000 yearling purchase, Mafia broke his maiden over 1000m in provincial grade in June last year and shortly after was sold via online auction for $180,000 to Darby Racing. After two unplaced runs for his new owners, he was sent for a spell and gelded.

The procedure looked like reaping an immediate reward when Mafia resumed at Warwick Farm in November, the horse leading and kicking strongly in the straight before taking a sudden, awkward stride and colliding with the running rail, losing all momentum and finishing fourth.

Snowden sent him back to the paddock and the gelding's latest preparation got off to a much better start with a strong win over 1100m at Wyong last month.

Mafia was nominated for Randwick last weekend but after suffering a minor setback following his return, Snowden decided to wait another week as he felt the gelding "might have been short of a gallop".

"He had a stone bruise which put him back a bit," Snowden said. "He just needed a bit more work before I ran him again.

"But he's in good order. His first-up win was very good and he was good at the end of the 1100 [metres], so you've got to think he will get 1200 this prep. If he does, it will open up a few more doors for him."

Mafia will stick to shorter courses for the time being, Snowden accepting with him for Saturday's ASX Maurice Farhart Handicap (1100m) and the Schweizer Kobras Lawyers Handicap (1000m), both at Randwick. Regan Bayliss has been booked to partner him in whichever races he contests.

Team Snowden will have up to eight runners at Saturday's meeting, including two-year-old Waterville, a debut winner at Warwick Farm in February who tackles the TAB Handicap (1400m) third-up.

 

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