Damian Browne poised to snare feature double with Team Snowden at Doomben
A COUPLE of recent hit-and-run missions to Sydney has landed Damian Browne in the box seat to take a major share of the spoils at today’s summer carnival opener for the powerful Peter and Paul Snowden team.
Calanda and Pretty Fast are warm favourites for the George Moore Stakes and Mode Plate respectively.
Browne has had a successful association with the Snowdens, dating back to the days of Darley travelling to the winter carnival and later the Blue Diamond wins of Earthquake and Pride Of Dubai in 2014 and 2015.
But in more recent times, Browne admits to making a few wrong calls, none more so than bypassing the Doomben 10,000 ride on Redzel. He had also passed on offers to head south and admits he was running out of excuses when he accepted a few Sydney rides last month.
His hit-and-run visits saw him successful on juveniles Legislation and Neutrality for the Snowdens.
“It just seemed the last six months, every time (Peter) had asked, for some reason I haven’t been able to ride many for him,” Browne said. “He was stuck a little bit with Kerrin (McEvoy), Blake (Shinn) and Hughy (Bowman) in Melbourne so he asked me to come down for a few weeks. There wasn’t really a lot for me here, so I thought it was a good time to go down there and see if I could find a couple of nice horses.”
Legislation is among the Snowden-trained aspirants for next month’s Magic Millions.
Despite having ridden for the stable for some time now, Browne is still in awe of Snowden senior’s attention to detail.
“For a guy that has such a big team, his knowledge of his horses is just incredible,” he said.
“He gives you a few options. He reads races really well and knows things don’t always go right, but obviously he still expects the job will get done.”
For Snowden’s part, he says Browne’s style suits his runners.
“He’s got good hands and the way he rides suits me,” he said. “He’s been very good. We were short of riders and I said there were some nice horses going to Brisbane for the carnival. He was only too pleased to help me out.”
But Browne’s love of his home on the Sunshine Coast and reluctance to travel too much these days means there’s a limit to how many interstate offers he will accept.
“(Peter) knows how I operate. I don’t like travelling. He wanted me to go down for a bit longer, but I said I’d had enough,” he said. “He asked me to go to Sandown but I said that’s too far now.”
After two luckless runs in Melbourne, co-trainer Peter Snowden feels Calanda gets his chance to shine in the George Moore Stakes.
“The first Melbourne run he got knocked down from pillar to post, went back to last, but still ran on very well,” he said. “His second start he was probably on the wrong side of the straight. He was left in front a long way out and he started to float, which they can do there. The majority of the field was on the outside. They got him late and he wasn’t beaten far.
“He’s got a good draw (today) and the soft conditions won’t bother him. It looks a nice race on paper. He’s in good form and he’s going well.”
Snowden also says Brisbane punters can expect to see a stronger version of Pretty Fast today than the one they saw in the winter.
“She’s got a bit more savvy too. She was always a bit behind and immature, but she knows what’s going on now and she’s got a good racing profile,” he said. “She steps well, puts herself on speed and she relaxes well.”
Story courtesy Nathan Exelby – Brisbane Courier Mail