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Kurt Goldman pays tribute to Guy Walter after Faust takes out Canberra Cup

Jockey Sam Clipperton and trainer Kurt Goldman after winning the Canberra Cup on Black Opal Stakes day at Thoroughbred Park. Photo: Matt BedfordGary Moore wins Black Opal Stakes with TakedownMatthew Dale wins three, including Canberra GuineasSydney trainer Peter Snowden wins National SprintDale aims three runners for Country ChampionshipsHighlights from fashions on the field at Black Opal Stakes Day

Goulburn trainer Kurt Goldman enjoyed the biggest win of his young career, taking the knowledge instilled in him by the late Guy Walter to collect the $200,000 Canberra Cup (2000m).

Jockey Sam Clipperton timed his run aboard Faust ($22.70) to perfection to overhaul the Gai Waterhouse-trained Queenstown and hit the line in front of Burbero and World Wide at Thoroughbred Park on Sunday.

Walter won last year’s Cup with Jacquinot Bay before he tragically died suddenly of a heart attack in May.

Goldman moved to Goulburn from Kembla Grange about 12 months ago to replace Danny Williams as the trainer for former Wallaby Alan Cardy at his state-of-the-art facility.

It was there the 29-year-old got to know Walter, observing his habits and taking the experienced trainer’s advice.

“The last month that Guy was still with us he was very influential because I had just moved to Goulburn, he helped me a lot,” Goldman said.

“Quite often I would go and sit with him in the middle of the track in Goulburn watching his horses work and I’d be watching mine.

“I believe I train a little bit like Guy.

“Guy to me was a very patient trainer, you’d always see him thinking.

“His biggest piece of advice was to be patient with the horses and not expect things to happen straight away.”

It was the second Canberra Cup win in the past three years for the ownership syndicate, who also had success with Court Connection trained by Williams in 2013.

Goldman started off on his own as an owner/trainer out of Kembla Grange five years ago, a second and a third on Magic Millions day on the Gold Coast helping him build his clientele.

“I wasn’t interested in training for other people,” Goldman said.

“I believed in myself and I wanted to prove to people what I could do without having owners a part of it.

“From where I was in my career, joining Alan Cardy was a chance to get some better-quality horses without finding the horses myself.”

He may have found a beauty in Faust.

Despite concerns about a lack of preparation ahead of the Canberra Cup, the five-year-old showed a clean pair of heels in the back straight to record its sixth win from 26 starts.

“At this stage the horse will probably go to the Albury Cup in a few weeks’ time,” Goldman said.

“This horse loves the wet and I’ve strongly advised the owners that we should set this horse on a campaign to Queensland in the winter carnival.

“That’s still in the back of my mind.

“I haven’t got time to spell him and bring him back, I have to be mindful of how much racing he has before going there.”

Clipperton said he was pleased to have helped Goldman take out the biggest win of his career.

“He’s been a good friend and he’s been a great supporter of mine over the years, so it’s good he gets a big win on the board under his name,” Clipperton said.

“Faust never gives in, he’d been building to a win and Kurt presented the horse in perfect order.”

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Young judges hone skills at Mudgee Show

Liam Mulligan looks on as Hayley Nelson judges one of the rams in the merino judging competition.

The Mudgee Show kicked off on Friday morning with teenagers from around the region gathering in the sheep and cattle pavilions for the junior judging competitions.

Students from across the region spent Friday morning judging grain, merino fleece, sheep meat breeds, and merinos at the Mudgee Showground, with many of those in attendance hoping to gain entry into the RAS State Judging Finals at the Royal Easter Show at the end of the month.

For other students from Mudgee High School, Gulgong High School and Dunedoo High School, the judging competition was a great chance to learn from the experts and take the first step to becoming junior judges.

The students who came first in each of the competitions will have around three weeks to iron their shirts, go through the rules, and fine tune their judging styles for the Sydney Royal Easter Show state finals.

Gulgong High School agriculture technology teacher Judy Rohr brought along members of the Gulgong High Show Team to the competition, and said it was a great opportunity for the students to test their skills in a competition arena and learn new ones from the experienced judges.

“I’ve got around five students competing in the zone finals and half a dozen kids who are just learning how to judge merino, British breeds, and fleeces,” she said.

“It’s good to have the professionals on hand as the judges so the kids can gain more experience for the future.”

Grains judge Peter Gallagher said the were already fairly knowledgeable about what to look for and conducted themselves in a mature manner throughout the day.

“Some of them conducted themselves amazingly. And most of them knew what they were talking about and did all right when it came raking the grains in order of quality,” he said.

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Kicking up their heels at Rockley

ADRENALINE RUSH: Wayne Crisp, originally from Rockley, saddled up to compete in the open bull ride on Novocane at yesterday’s Rockley Rodeo. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 030815crodeoIN the seconds before his event, Bathurst man Richard Treanor is focused and alert.

He climbs the fence, sits atop a writhing one-tonne bull and the adrenaline starts to build. Focus is key, and the number one rule kicks in – don’t let go.

Bull rider Mr Treanor may have a swag of titles under his cowboy-buckled belt, but the rider handed the luck of the day over to the bulls at yesterday’s Rockley Rodeo.

He was among 110 entrants at the annual event, which traditionally draws a big crowd to the tiny village south of Bathurst each year.

The 25-year-old may have been competing for almost a decade, but he said some weekends just don’t go your way.

This was the fourth time he has ridden Novocane – a bull with a fearsome reputation on the rodeo circuit.

In yesterday’s open bull ride he was bucked off just a few seconds into the eight-second time he needed to stay atop the bucking beast.

“It got the better of me, it’s the third time he’s bucked me off [at various rodeos],” he said.

Mr Treanor was just 17 years old when he decided to have a crack at bull riding, and he says it’s a sport he’ll continue “as long as I can”.

“I decided to jump on a bull one day and it’s been like that ever since,” he said.

“It’s the adrenaline and the fun … I’ll just go jump- to-jump and hope for the best.”

The young Bathurst man is an up-and-coming rodeo star with awards in national events, as well as wins in the East to West Coast Rodeo Champion- ships in 2012 and 2013.

While yesterday’s rodeo didn’t go his way, Mr Treanor said he’s learned a thing or two about bull riding thanks to eight years on the rodeo circuit.

“Don’t let go and try and move with the bull rather than against it,” he said.

“Where I’m at now you’ve got reaction time … once it’s doing something [the bull] you’ve got a split second to react.”

Despite his numerous awards, Mr Treanor still has his sights set high in bull riding.

“I’ll be working towards winning an Australian title,” he said.

Rockley Rodeo secretary Ros Press said while the crowds might have been down on previous years, the rodeo still attracted stars of the sport from across three states.

“The committee tries to focus the day as a family day – that’s why we have it on a Sunday,” she said.

The event is also a fundraiser and again supported Cancer Care Patients Assistance Society as it has done for the last 20 years.

“We’ve probably given $12-$15,000 over that time,” Ms Press said.

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Cancer Council launches ‘Vision for Change’

The Cancer Council’s “Saving life: Vision for Change” campaign was launched at the St John’s Church markets on Saturday. Pictured are local Cancer Council advocate Melanie Trethowan and Member for Dubbo and Deputy Premier Troy Grant.The Cancer Council’s “Saving Life” campaign was launched at the St John’s Church markets on Saturday and both community members and state election candidates dropped in to share their views.

Country Labor candidate for Dubbo Stephen Lawrence lends his support to the Cancer Council’s “Saving Life: Vision for Change” campaign on Saturday.

“Saving Life: Vision for Change” outlines five opportunities the organisation says the next State Government can take to help beat cancer.

These include addressing the sale of tobacco, improving cancer services for Aboriginal people, addressing chemotherapy co-payments, co-ordinating access to care, and increasing palliative care services.

Cancer Council advocate Melanie Trethowan said discussions with members of the public at the stall on Saturday showed that the issue for this area is the disparity in treatment.

“It’s been a really interesting exercise in that the personal stories that have been shared with us today have really highlighted the inequities of getting cancer in a rural area versus in the city,” she said.

The chemotherapy co-payment issue has been a topical issue since the Labor party promised to scrap the payment if elected.

Member for Dubbo and Deputy Premier Troy Grant dropped into the Cancer Council stall on Saturday and said that his party is looking into removing it as well.

“People already have enough to worry about battling the disease without the additional financial impost and in regional areas that extends to travel and absence from families to access care,” he said.

“In 2013, co-payments of a rate between $150-$400 which have been reduced to $6.30-$39.50, but we are now examining opportunities to remove the co-payment for all areas – not just cancer – in public hospitals.”

Mr Grant also praised the work of the Cancer Council.

“The Cancer Council do an amazing job of clearly and articulately bringing the issues to government’s attention,” he said.

“I’ve worked closely with the Cancer Council Western Region MP liaison officer in my electorate over the last three years on a number of initiatives and this is the second time I’ve caught up [local Cancer Council advocate] Melanie Trethowan and I look forward to catching up regularly to continue to fight the good fight.”

Country Labor candidate for Dubbo, Stephen Lawrence, said his party had made its commitment which will be particularly beneficial to country areas.

“Labor’s already committed to abolishing the chemotherapy co-payment – that’s a $6 million commitment, ” he said.

“I think that’s a really important and practical policy, particularly for country people who very often have to travel huge distances when they’re diagnosed with cancer, and we have higher rates of cancer in the country.

“This chemotherapy co-payment was a penny pinching charge that only exists in NSW and was introduced by this government in 2012.”

Mr Lawrence added that the Cancer Council’s call for greater palliative care services was another important issue for him as it was an area he had researched since he declared his candidacy.

“The provision of palliative care nurses and specialists in country NSW is nothing short of disgraceful,” he said.

“To under-service regional and remote areas is uneconomical and inhumane.

“If I’m elected as the member for Dubbo it will be one of my top priorities in terms of healthcare.”

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Melbourne City’s week of destiny gets off to horror start

If this week is to be the defining period of Melbourne City’s season, then it’s unlikely to have a happy ending if the start is anything to go by.

City – their long-suffering supporters would say all too predictably – crashed 1-0 to Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Sunday in a match that, for once, justified its must-win status.

It was the first of three games in a six-day period against the bottom three teams in the league. Seven points would have been the minimum that coach John van ‘t Schip and his coaching team would have been aiming at.

Now the best they can manage is six – and that’s only if they beat Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday night in Sydney and Newcastle Jets on Saturday evening in Melbourne.

That City is still in the hunt for a top-six berth given its inconsistency speaks volumes about how poor, disorganised or out of form the bottom half of the A-League table has been all year rather than of any particular merit by Melbourne’s most recently established club.

Despite the massive advantage of being owned by the Premiership plutocrats Manchester City, van ‘t Schip’s side have rarely looked like establishing themselves as leading contenders this season.

The hype that saw the bookies install them as A-League favourites last winter had more to do with the identity of their owners and the fact they had just announced David Villa as a guest signing rather than their inherent ability.

After all, this was the team that had finished bottom last season, and while it had been strengthened by a few key additions – Damien Duff, Erik Paartalu, Robbie Koren and, although not until recently, Josh Kennedy – the bulk of the squad was the same as that which had struggled the season before.

There have been days when City have looked good in patches, the odd game where they have produced memorable performances: the first half in the opening round against Sydney, the derby triumph over Victory, the come-from-behind win over Adelaide a week ago.

But they have been too few and far between and all too often false harbingers of hope.

Soon enough van ‘t Schip’s side falls back into its old habits, failing to deliver on the opportunities it gets, playing without the intensity and adventure that the top five teams – who look so much better than the rest – produce.

If the expectations prove correct and their best player, Aaron Mooy, does receive a Socceroo call-up for the forthcoming friendlies against Germany and Macedonia at the end of the month, then their task will get even harder. Mooy has been far and away a shining light for a club that still looks as though it is struggling for an identity and self-belief.

Much, of course, depends on Brisbane’s results over the next few weeks too. But if City don’t take maximum points from their next two fixtures, then prospects of post-season action will evaporate – presumably with major consequences for players’ and perhaps coaches’ short-term careers.

City Football Group official Brian Marwood said last week that whether or not the team made the finals would not impact on van ‘t Schip’s immediate future.

But if they don’t make it, there will, at the very least, surely be an extensive examination of the entire football department: not just van ‘t Schip and his assistants, but also football manager John Didulica and anyone else involved in the choice and recruitment of players. One finals appearance in five seasons in a 10-club competition where 60 per cent of the teams make the play-offs is not what anyone expected.

There is a lot at stake over the next seven weeks and City’s small but passionate band of fans will expect much better than what they got on Sunday.

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Brisbane Roar beat Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0 thanks to Brandon Borrello strike

Another underwhelming performance from the Western Sydney Wanderers has seen them slump to their twelfth defeat this season as Brisbane Roar took full advantage to secure a 1-0 win at Suncorp Stadium.

Despite the closeness of the final result, the Roar created vastly more chances and were seldom pressured by the visitors, who produced one of the weariest displays of a dreadful campaign.

However, they very nearly pinched an undeserving draw deep into into injury time, when substitute Tomi Juric let fly with an effort that struck the underside of the crossbar and then bounced on the line below. Juric celebrated – an attempt to convince the linesman more than anything else – but play was waved on and Brandon Borrello’s 53rd minute strike would decide the outcome.

The win hoists Brisbane into the top six, displacing Melbourne City, and boasting a game in hand. Based on City’s poor showing against the Mariners earlier in the day, the three-time champions must surely be favourites to hold onto the final spot in the top six.

Despite talking up his side’s form on Friday, the table suggested this would be a battle for the Wanderers, who had lost eight of their nine away games heading into this clash.

Popovic’s much-talked about rotation policy was again enforced with Ante Covic sent to the bench, allowing reserve goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis a rare opportunity between the posts. Attacking midfielder Jashua Sotirio was also given a shot, slotting into the left-hand side.

It was also a reunion with the Wanderers’ former right-back Jerome Polenz, a player who surged down the Parramatta wings with a relentless energy in the first two years.

That battle with the 19-year old Sotirio was the most engaging duel of the first-half, the pair frequently tangling, with Polenz typically treading a fine line at times. Both had their moments and the youngster lost no admirers.

The first-half was played at a tempo perhaps symptomatic of external factors, with both sides coming off draining midweek encounters in the Asian Champions League – the Roar having to come all the way back from Japan after their shock win over Urawa Red Diamonds.

Not helping matters was the combination of a pitch that was badly cut up from back-to-back rugby league and rugby union matches on successive days before.

The best chance of the first half came when Brisbane star Thomas Broich put Jean Carlos Solorzano away and despite a heavy touch he was still able to get away a decent shot that Bouzanis did well to deflect.

Brisbane had more of the possession and chances early but, by the same token, weren’t always as polished as coach Frans Thijssen would have liked. Yet the visitors offered hardly anything in attack, with Sotirio the only outlet of interest.

Both sides were guilty of turning the ball over regularly, although the heat and the pitch condition had plenty to do with the lack of control on either side.

Wanderers’ No.10 Mark Bridge – perhaps labouring from his heavy workload in recent weeks – was taken off at half-time in favour of Yojiro Takahagi as Tony Popovic sought to find a more creative outlet.

However, Brisbane were the ones turning up the heat when the two sides emerged for the second half, Broich and Brattan endeavouring to pin the Wanderers deep in their own half.

Seven minutes after the restart, their reward would come. Polenz caught Sotirio unawares as the Wanderers were trying to play out from defence, and he quickly surged forward before seeing Borrello move into space. The Adelaide-born forward jinked past Nikolai Topor-Stanley all too easily before firing inside the far post.

Borrello could have iced the result after the hour mark when he was clear on goal and decided to chip a bouncing ball over Bouzanis, only to see it loop onto the bar and out of play.

Defender Topor-Stanley had a fine chance thereafter but his header, from Takahagi’s free-kick, was palmed wide by Jamie Young. As the minutes ticked by, Juric’s late chance was as close as the Wanderers would get from an otherwise uninspiring performance.

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Using super to buy first home a ‘pressing national issue’ says REIA

“We are prepared to look at a diverse range of proposals to help young Australians buy their first home”: Treasurer Joe Hockey. Photo: Andrew MearesFederal Treasurer Joe Hockey appears to have taken the real estate industry lobby group’s advice in suggesting people should be able to use their superannuation to buy their first homes, as the peak superannuation body urged caution for such an approach.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia outlined the radical idea in its budget submission to Mr Hockey last month, with the treasurer saying Australians ought to start thinking seriously about the way in which their super savings can be used in the future because people were working and living for longer.

“We are prepared to look at a diverse range of proposals to help young Australians buy their first home,” Mr Hockey said, suggesting that super could be used for a deposit on a first home or job retraining.

His comments were quickly criticised by Labor and some economists, but REIA chief executive Amanda Lynch said using super to help pay for a first home could make housing more affordable and build retirement savings.

“We believe that owning a home is the biggest generator of long-term financial security for Australians and the earlier you can access the housing market, the more secure your retirement will be because most Australians aspire to have paid of their home before they retire,” Ms Lynch said.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen rejected the suggestion, saying it would have the opposite effect.

“[The] plan would have the likely effect of not only undermining retirement incomes but also driving housing prices up further and making it harder for first-home buyers,” he said.

Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia chief executive Pauline Vamos said the plan would benefit the rich far more than the poor.

“There are significant equity issues when it comes to allowing the release of concessionally taxed superannuation contributions for home equity,” she said, referring to higher income earners paying 45 cents in the dollar in income tax but only 15 cents in the dollar on superannuation contributions.

They would be able use concessionally taxed super money to buy a house and then top up their super, again at a low tax rate.

“There significant equity issues when it comes to allowing the release of concessionally taxed superannuation contributions for home equity,” she said.

But Ms Lynch stood by the proposal.

“The fact about buying a house is that you are actually saving all that equity and the compounding interest will be beneficial. To say that investing in superannuation, which is mainly skewed towards shares, is a safe proposition doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

“In the years since the GFC we have actually seen super being more of a financial risk than previously and a lot of people close to retirement have found their super balances have been dwindling.”  

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Matthew Dale aiming three runners for Country Championships

Gary Moore wins Black Opal Stakes with TakedownMatthew Dale wins three, including Canberra GuineasGoldman pays tribute to Walter after Canberra Cup winSydney trainer Peter Snowden wins National SprintHighlights from fashions on the field at Black Opal Stakes Day

Matthew Dale is aiming for a super Country Championships after a Super Sunday and is hoping for three runners in the qualifying race at Goulburn on March 20.

The Canberra trainer thinks Gocup Belle, Mystic Puzzle and Royal Jackpot should all qualify for Goulburn, with the first two to run in the $300,000 final at Randwick on April 4.

Gocup Belle saluted in the benchmark 65 handicap (1200 metres) at Thoroughbred Park on Sunday and Dale was delighted with the ride of jockey Brendan Ward.

His only concern was whether the four-year-old mare could run the distance at the Country Championships.

“She’ll go there over 1400 metres, first time up to that sort of trip, but that race only comes once a year so we’ll definitely have a look at it now,” Dale said.

“It’s a question mark [the distance] but she’s bred to get it. She settled a bit better today than she has been, so she’ll give it a good shake.

“It’s a big pull for anyone involved, the lure of a $300,000 final at Randwick. Everyone in the country wants to be there on Championships day.” Gratz Vella also aiming American Time for Goulburn

While American Time fell short of winning the listed Canberra Guineas (1200 metres) for Canberra trainer Gratz Vella, he is hoping to take the daughter of All American to the Goulburn heat of the Country Championships (1400m) on March 20.

The three-year-old filly lost no admirers after finishing fourth behind a gutsy Rom Baro.

“If she pulls up OK, there’s a big chance she will [run in the Country Championships],” Vella said.

“If you watch the replay, it was an enormous run. She was making up lost ground to finish the best after getting caught three wide the whole race.

“It’s hard to win in this company.” Pride wins Camarena in his own right

Queanbeyan product Joe Pride says he has finally had some luck in Canberra following Diamond Oasis’ win in the Camarena Handicap (1000 metres).

Having been born in the NSW town, Pride is emerging as one of Sydney’s best trainers, but he felt his old stomping ground had not been his best in recent years.

He won the Camarena two years ago when Shamus finished in a dead heat with Tony Sergi’s Diamond To Pegasus.

“I’ve never had much luck down here, to be honest,” Pride said. “I won this race a couple of years ago and only deadheated. I’ve never had much luck since, so hopefully that changes today.”

He felt Diamond Oasis could win at listed-group 3 level, but only in races no longer than 1100m. Snowden aims Courtza King at South Pacific Classic

Former Darley trainer Peter Snowden is aiming Courtza King at the listed South Pacific Classic (1400 metres) at Randwick on April 11 after a hard-fought win in the maiden plate (1200m) on Sunday.

The King held off Keikosan down the Thoroughbred Park straight to break his maiden status in just his second race.

“That showed me the ability that he has, but he’s got to learn his craft and he’s still very raw and very new,” Snowden said.

“He’s by the right stallion [Northern Meteor], he’s the half-brother to Hucklebuck, so he’s got a fair bit going for him.

“He’s going to town next start. I’ll be confident he can win there and if he does that then there might be a race later on for him at the carnival.

“I think the South Pacific Classic, I think that’s the ideal race for him, a listed race in the week of the Championships. It’s a high aim for him but I think this horse has that sort of talent.”

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NRL clubs receive additional $13.8m but not all are happy

Follow LeagueHQ on TwitterPlay Ultimate LeagueNRL 2015 Team by team guideQuiz masterclass: How many 70s footy stars can you name?Expert predictions on where each team will finish

NRL clubs received an additional $13.8 million in funding above their annual $7.2 million grants last season but some are unhappy they had little control in how it was spent.

The NRL recently announced an operating surplus of $49.9 million for the 2014 season but there is disenchantment among some clubs that the figure included $28.1 million directed at growth initiatives and strategic priorities to build future value for the game.

Of that money, $17.9 million was paid directly to clubs and the state leagues, including $450,000 per club to strengthen their financial position and operational capability, and $1.9 million for the establishment of a central support unit to assist clubs with financial sustainability and commercial opportunities.

An additional $4.8 million was invested to support clubs in growing their membership base and game day attendances, while the NRL funded the appointment of a dedicated careers coach for players at each of the 16 clubs.

Other areas identified by the NRL as spending on growth and strategic priorities include: $4.1 million to improve the quality of the NSW and Queensland state leagues and establish the state championship grand final between the winners;the establishment of the NRL’s own statistics company, which provides data for fans and coaches;$5.4 million to honour a commitments to community, welfare and education, included funding The Men of League and establishing the Rise For Alex fund.

The NRL also spent $1.7 million in supporting research and development proposals for stadiums and high performance units for a number of clubs.

NRL officials believe that is a small sum to pay for $700 million of commitments in Sydney and Townsville for rectangular stadiums and point out that AFL had previously monopolised government funding for major Stadium projects. The NSW Government has allocated $600 million on rectangular stadiums in Sydney, while the Queensland Government will provide $100 million for a new stadium in Townsville.

The NRL is offering clubs a further $250,000 in funding this year if they meet certain growth targets, but the money must be spent on improving the business and not the football department.

However; some club bosses believe they should have greater control over how the $344.9 million revenue the game generated last season should be spent and the issue will be discussed at a meeting of club chairmen. While there is genuine discontent among some clubs, Fairfax Media was told that the majority are supportive of the NRL and believe the game is in far better shape than before the advent of the ARL Commission in 2012.

“Those that appear aggrieved did not even turn up to ask a question at the AGM,” South Sydney chairman Nicholas Pappas said. “Instead they wage a nameless campaign through the media. We are light years away from where we were as a game and some have very short memories of just how far we have come. We all now need to focus on how we can improve our own businesses rather than publicly ravaging our code.”  

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Sydney trainer Peter Snowden collects National Sprint with Snippets Land with double on Black Opal Stakes day

Snippets Land wins the Mercedes Benz Canberra National Sprint from Mighty Lucky. Photo: Matt BedfordGary Moore wins Black Opal Stakes with TakedownMatthew Dale wins three, including Canberra GuineasGoldman pays tribute to Walter after Canberra Cup winDale aims three runners for Country ChampionshipsHighlights from fashions on the field at Black Opal Stakes Day

Two runners, two winners – it was a perfect 100 per cent success rate for leading Sydney trainer Peter Snowden on Black Opal Stakes day.

While he didn’t have any contenders in either the Canberra Cup or the Black Opal Stakes, Snowden still produced a winning double at Thoroughbred Park on Sunday.

Snippets Land ($5.30) delivered the goods in the $120,000 listed National Sprint (1400 metres) after red-hot favourite Courtza King ($1.30) had earlier gotten the day off to the ideal start in the Maiden Plate (1200m).

Jockey Hugh Bowman timed his run to perfection aboard Snippets Land, taking the lead with 300m to go to hold off a fast-finishing Mighty Lucky and Darciwood.

Mighty Lucky had the support of the punters when the National Sprint effectively became a set weights race.

All runners in the National Sprint carried 58 kilograms after the withdrawal of original top weight Laser Hawk (60kg) and the Hawkes family’s Leebaz (58kg) elevated the rest of the field up from 54kg.

The change occurred under Australian Racing rule 103 (2), which states if the top weight withdraws, then all weights are increased until at least one runner reaches 58kg.

Snowden was against the move, which wouldn’t have happened if it was a benchmark race and not a black-type one.

“I didn’t agree with it, I thought they should have rehandicapped the race,” Snowden said. “It wasn’t a fair decision to bring everyone else up to the same weight. Saying that, he won with 58kg on his back so he was able to do the job.”

Snowden is a big supporter of Canberra’s premier race day.

This is the first season he has gone out on his own with his son Paul after previously working with the Darley stables.

It was the fourth win from 11 starts for Snippets Land and takes his career prizemoney over $100,000.

Snowden will consider a couple of different options for the four-year-old during the autumn carnival and was pleased with Bowman’s ride.

“He rode it beautifully,” Snowden said. “He put the horse in the right position and was able to make his move at the right time. That’s why he’s one of the best going around.”

Bowman said the steady tempo suited Snippets Land and allowed him to kick strongly on the back straight.

“I thought if they don’t go gallop it’s not going to suit us, but they went a nice, genuine pace,” Bowman said. “It was set up nicely for him and he was dominant. When I really asked him to stretch, he responded beautifully.”

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