Talented sprinter I Thought So will bid to add to Peter Snowden's record as the leading modern-day trainer of Ramornie Handicap winners at Grafton next month, reports racingnsw.com.au. Snowden, who has saddled up three winners of the Ramornie, namely Calanda (2017), Pinwheel (2010) and Jerezana (2011), believes I Thought So (So You Think-Cat's Pyjamas, by Fusaichi Pegasus) presents as the perfect horse for the race. "I Thought So will definitely be going to Grafton. He's in winning form and the Ramornie looks an ideal race for him," said Snowden. Formerly trained by David Pfeiffer, I Thought So broke through at his third start for Team Snowden when an impressive winner of the Elite Haulage Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
At the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, deceased stallion California Dane (Danehill-Stormwinter, by Seattle Slew) added a black-type success when 7YO gelding The Monstar (California Dane-Sirocco Mist, by Brocco) defied all challengers in winning the $175,000 Gr2 Moreton Cup (1200m) over Platinum Angel and Calanda by 0.4 length. The victory took The Monstar's record to 12 wins (including the Listed ATC Razor Sharp Handicap & Listed June Stakes) & 13 placings (including the Listed VRC MSS Security Sprint, Listed Civic Stakes, Listed Ramornie Handicap, Gr2 Missile Stakes and Gr2 TAB Multiplier Stakes) for earnings of $731,140. His ecstatic jockey Skye Bogenhuber commented to news.com.au post race, "I can't believe it. I came here thinking he could win, but never thought it would be that easy," she said. "It's my first ever Group ride. I've won a Weetwood (Miss Imagica) and Cup (Bang On) at Toowoomba, I've ridden in a couple of Listed races in Brisbane, but never had the opportunity to get a Group ride, let alone a good ride like that." She added, "I do love [The Monstar]. I got a good association with him at track work when [trainer] Brett [Cavanough] moved up and had a satellite stable at Toowoomba. He's a quirky horse, but the more I got to know him, the more I loved him. I love how tough he is. He's such a genuine horse. A lot of old horses can get a bit cunning and don't want to do it anymore, but he's so mad and so tough! He's a pleasure to ride."
At Gosford on the NSW Central Coast, Arrowfield Stud's incumbent Champion and current leading Australian Sire Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a black-type success when 4YO Australian-bred gelding Calanda (Snitzel- Speedy Bell, Brocco) opened his stakes account in the $150,000 Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs +, defeating stable-mates Supreme Effort & Oxford Poet. Calanda improved his record to 6 wins (including the Inglis Sprint) and 3 placings (including the Gr3 BTC George Moore Stakes) from 16 starts for $544,450 in earnings. Jockey Blake Shinn commented: "He fought very hard over the final 100 metres. It was a good win. It's nice to win in these colours [the China Horse Club colours]," he said. Purchased by Newgate Farm in conjunction with China Horse Club, Calanda fetched $200,000 at the 2015 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale from the Yarraman Park draft. He is the eighth foal to race from the Listed AJC Gimcrack Stakes winner Speedy Bell, dam also of Gr3 Adrian Knox Stakes winner Speedy Natalie and Listed Jungle Dawn Classic winner Silverstream.
At Doomben in Brisbane, Emirates Park Stud & Aquis Farm stallion Al Maher (Danehill-Show Dancing, by Don't Say Halo) added a Group race success when 5YO Australian-bred gelding Monsieur Gustave (Al Maher-Saigon Moonlight, by Stravinsky) posted his fourth consecutive stakes win when overcoming a wide run for a determined victory in the $200,000 Gr3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Calanda & Snoopy. Monsieur Gustave advanced his record to 8 wins (including the Listed Keith Noud Handicap, Listed Glasshouse Handicap & Listed Eye Liner Stakes) and 3 placings from 17 starts for $535,900 in earnings. Purchased by McLachlan Place Racing Stables for $34,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Vinery Stud, Monsieur Gustave is out of a full-sister to the dam of former champion sprinter Lankan Rupee. This is also the female family of Victoria Derby winning stallion Grosvenor, Australian Oaks winner Mahaya, and her half-sister Shadea, dam of champion racehorse and stallion Lonhro. "He's my champion and I love him," trainer Darryl Hansen told Racing Queensland post-race. "I'll let the dust settle for a few days but he'll go after the Summer Crown races now." The second leg of the Summer Crown series is the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on 16 December. The remaining legs are The Buffering (1200m) at Doomben on 30 December and the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) and Magic Millions Sprint (1200m) at the Gold Coast on 13 January. "The Magic Millions Cup is his grand final," Hansen said.
The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Calanda marked himself as a horse of the future when winning the $250,000 Inglis Sprint (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday. A 3YO son of Arrowfield stallion Snitzel, Calanda made it two wins from four starts when sprinting home strongly along the fence to score by 1.5 lengths over Geneteau and Manuel. Part-owner Henry Field, of Newgate Farm, wasn't surprised with the result, but believes Calanda won't reach his full potential until he gets over more ground. "He was a very athletic horse from the beginning and he always struck us as a seven-furlong-to-a-mile horse so for him to be doing this over five-and-a-half to six furlongs is nice,'' Field said. "A horse like him you'd typically have sent out and be getting ready for the autumn but when Inglis put on races like this for $250,000, you have to go for them." he added: "He'll go for a break now. One target we thought was the Inglis Guineas at Scone in May, then onto Brisbane. After that, who knows.'' Newgate Farm bought Calanda in conjunction with China Horse Club for $200,000 at last year's Inglis Easter Yearling Sale from the Yarraman Park draft. Calanda is the eighth foal to race from the Listed AJC Gimcrack Stakes winner Speedy Bell (Brocco), dam also of Gr3 Adrian Knox Stakes winner Speedy Natalie and Listed Jungle Dawn Classic winner Silverstream.