Bypassing a race in Sydney has paid off for the connections of Snoopy with a hard-fought win at Flemington.
The Hawkes Racing-trained galloper was heavily supported to take out the Western Health Pharmacy Cup on Saturday and didn’t let his supporters down.
Snoopy was an entrant for the TAB Handicap at Rosehill but the stable selected the race in Melbourne where the gelding was handicapped on the minimum of 54kg.
Providing Dwayne Dunn the second leg of a double, Snoopy was sent out the $2.35 favourite before scoring a half-length victory over Rough Justice ($8) with Tashbeeh ($6) a length away third.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said the addition of blinkers to Snoopy’s gear had contributed to the gelding finding form.
Snoopy first sported the headwear when successful at Rosehill on November 26.
“His run two starts ago was good but the blinkers have certainly made the difference,” Hawkes said.
No special plans are in place for Snoopy who recorded his sixth win from 16 starts and Hawkes is hoping the four-year-old can continue his recent run of winning form.
“He’s one the favourites in the stable and has a great nature and a great attitude,” Hawkes said.
Dunn, who scored earlier aboard Electric Tribute, said the fast-run race suited Snoopy.
“We were hiking along,” Dunn said.
“I think he needs it where it’s not a sprint home as the better class of horses can outsprint him.”
The double for Dunn kept him one win clear of rival Craig Williams in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership.
Williams, who leaves on Sunday for a stint in Hong Kong, rode a double courtesy of Divine Mr Artie and Khaki and has ridden 10 metropolitan winners from the last four meetings.
Also enjoying good fortune is the Lindsay Park stable of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig who scored with Hell Or Highwater in the Hollywood Nails Handicap.
Her win was the stable’s 13th from the past four metropolitan meetings which included a quartet at Pakenham last Saturday.
The combination of Darren Weir and apprentice Ben Allen bookended the Flemington meeting, scoring with Lyuba in the opening race and then Ozi Choice in the Western Health Foundation Handicap.