Gary Harley – Herald – 10.02.24

Peter Snowden is hoping for a change of luck for his smart colt Fire Star when the three-year-old heads to Newcastle on Saturday. The son of Deep Field has a win and three seconds from five starts, and he has been runner up in his past three. Fire Star has drawn barrier one in the final event, the Connectability CG&E Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) with Mitchell Bell to ride.  A slow start was costly for the colt last start at Wyong on January 28 when he made a long run from back in the field to go down by .82 of a length. Two starts back on the Kensington track on January 17 he chased home the promising The Black Cloud when beaten 1.31 lengths.

Snowden, who trains the colt in partnership with his son Paul is optimistic about Fire Star’s prospects on Saturday. “He had no luck last start at Wyong. A horse drawn next to him played up in the barriers and when the gates opened, he came out last. I expected him to be outside the leader but because of the slow start he was way back. Fire Star then had to make a wide run from the 400m and couldn’t pick up the leader. The rails barrier is ideal on Saturday and he will be hard to beat. We also have Mirra Impact in the race and both his runs have been good however, the wide barrier is a negative” Snowden said.

The Tinta Belmont Super Maiden Handicap (1200m) has attracted a strong field of maiden gallopers. Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou have accepted with a promising three-year-old Je Reve, placed on debut at Warwick Farm recently. The Capitalist gelding has not drawn well but his jockey Jean Van Overmeire is in great form. After a 6.42 lengths trial win at Randwick, he debuted on Australia Day at Warwick Farm. Je Reve began quickly in the 1100m event but from the wide barrier he was trapped three deep with no cover and Chad Schofield eased him back to third with a trail. However, he started to race keenly, and he moved up three deep outside the leaders before the turn. Je Reve never shirked his task in the straight and was only beaten 1.5 lengths.

Local filly Sharpen The Knives has bright prospects in the Webber Provincial Maiden Plate (900m) following an eye-catching debut run over this course on January 27. Sam Kavanagh’s daughter of Snitzel was friendless with punters on debut when an unlucky third. She was well back during the race and when making her run in the straight Sharpen The Knives changed course a couple of times. The filly did well to lunge late and go down by .60 of a length. She has a positive barrier and Keagan Latham rides.

Capital Dancer, unbeaten in two Central Coast trials in January, makes her debut in the opening event, the Bonvilla Estate 2yo Maiden Handicap (900m). She is a fast filly and her jockey Jess Taylor has ridden her in both trials at Wyong and Gosford. Her winning margins were 2.46 and 1.53 lengths in the trials, but she was not under pressure. Capital Dancer has drawn the outside of the seven starters but there is only one turn from the 900m start.

David Atkins’ unbeaten filly Lounerse resumes after a lengthy spell in the Calvary Mater Newcastle F&M Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m). Atkins part owns the three-year-old with her breeder and long-time stable client Matt Chidgey. She won a Tuncurry maiden on August 11 and the filly finished well to win at Newcastle on 29. Lounerse has had two recent trials.