Snowden books the best for Nitrous
TRAINER Peter Snowden has finalised his riders for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic after securing champion jockey Hugh Bowman for promising colt Nitrous.
Snowden also confirmed Tommy Berry will stay with race favourite Aim and Kerrin McEvoy retains the ride on King's Legacy.
The Snowden stable trio will go into the glamour Gold Coast juvenile race as last start winners after Nitrous scored at Randwick and King's Legacy took out the BJ McLachlan Stakes at Eagle Farm last weekend. The unbeaten Aim scored his second win from as many starts when he romped home at Randwick on December 21.
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Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul, knows what sort of two-year-old is needed to run well in a Magic Millions having won with the race with the brilliant Capitalist three years ago.
"There is no dominant two-year-old this season, nothing has put three or four wins on the board yet, so it is a Magic Millions that is wide open,'' Snowden said.
"I'm happy with Aim and King's Legacy, they are promising colts and they have had the right preparations.
"I don't think Nitrous should be underestimated, either. If he draws a good barrier, he will be competitive.''
Snowden also has Stellar Pauline in Magic Millions contention but the filly is only a borderline chance of securing a start next week.
Bowman, a two-time winner of the Magic Millions on Bradbury's Luck (2005) and Mimi Lebrock (2007), will ride at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The Hall of Fame jockey has a big book of rides including Fun Fact ($250,000 The Wave, 1800m), Beaufort Park ($250,000 Magic Millions Rising Stars, 1300m), Akkadian ($250,000 Magic Millions Country Cup, 1200m) and unbeaten youngsters Verbal Assault ($125,000 Gold Nugget, 1100m) and Bribery ($125,000 Gold Pearl, 1100m).
Meanwhile, trainer Mark Newnham remains upbeat about his chances of securing the Magic Millions double with juvenile filly Every Rose and three-year-old gelding Diamond Thunder despite their defeats at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
Every Rose, the one-time Magic Millions Classic favourite, was run down late by King's Legacy in the McLachlan Stakes while Diamond Thunder ran fourth to boom three-year-old Alligator Blood in the Vo Rogue Plate.
"I thought Every Rose was great,'' Newnham enthused.
"She was already in the Magic Millions after winning the Gimcrack Stakes at the start of the season so I didn't need to have her screwed right down for her last two starts.
"She had another good blow after the race and has improvement to come so she will be at her best for the Magic Millions.''
Newnham said Diamond Thunder will race in blinkers when he takes on Alligator Blood again in the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m).
"He needs the blinkers now because is not putting himself into a position where he can win,'' Newnham, said.
"I was still happy with his effort, he was good the last 100m and through the line. They went slow and sprinted home so he was always going to find it hard to make up ground.''