The only two-year-old to contest all three Group One races so far this season, Don Corleone will make it a quartet of big race appearances when he bids to turn the tables on last start conqueror Militarize in the Champagne Stakes.
While Don Corleone has 3-1/2 lengths to make up on his rival from their Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) clash, co-trainer Peter Snowden can make a case for his colt reversing the result in Saturday’s Randwick mile.
The youngster was shuffled back on the turn in the Sires’ and by the time he had regained his balance and jockey Hugh Bowman got him into clear running, Militarize had shot clear.
“He just missed the boat there through no fault of anyone’s,” Peter Snowden said.
“As Hughie said, he may not have won but he would have made it very interesting had he got out on equal terms and fought to the line because he was good once he got out. The winner just had too big a margin on him.”
It was Don Corleone’s second Group 1 placing after a luckless effort in the Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne when he charged home after being bailed up for a run.
He also performed admirably in the Golden Slipper, finishing fourth, and while it has been a busy campaign Snowden can find no reason to put the colt in the paddock.
“I said to (managing owner) Henry (Field), I’ll wait and if he shows me any signs he’s had enough, if he looks fatigued or drops off his feed or lightens off, I’ll use that as an excuse to tip him out because he’s done a very good job already,” Snowden said.
“I wouldn’t run him unless I was 110 per cent sure he’d run well. I don’t want to run him for the sake of it.
“His Sires’ run was very good and he’s done nothing but please us since then.”
The stable will also back up Make A Call after his narrow second to Tom Kitten in the Fernhill Mile (1600m) last weekend.
Like Don Corleone, Make A Call is by top sire Extreme Choice but while he has been racing consistently, Snowden feels he is capable of better.
“He’s a bit of a monkey. He comes back from his runs like he hasn’t gone out there,” Snowden said.
“But no doubt he’s got talent and it wouldn’t shock to see him run really well.
“He’s a tough horse and a very fit horse and he handles wet ground.”
The Champagne Stakes (1600m) field has been reduced to 11 with Godolphin scratching Amur after trainer James Cummings was unhappy with the two-year-old’s condition overnight and again on Thursday.
They will still be represented in the race by Tom Kitten, who is on the third line of betr’s betting at $9.50 behind Militarize ($2.30 fav) and Don Corleone ($3.50).
Photo: Ashlea Brennan Photography