MISSING the Golden Slipper proved vital as Invader scored an impressive win in the Group 1 $1 million Sires’ Produce at Randwick.
The Snitzel colt was held back from the Golden Slipper by its trainers Peter and Paul Snowden after suffering a stone bruise – a decision which allowed it to strength up nicely and avoid the heavy surface at Rosehill.
The talented two-year-old was fancied at each way odds of $8 at CrownBet late in the piece. Punters picked up on the inside track bias that was evident throughout day one of The Championships, but in the end it didn’t matter as jockey Hugh Bowman went centre track in the straight.
Bowman was patient from barrier three and let the speed develop in front of him. There were a few nervous moments coming around the home turn, but the gap appeared for Invader and it sprinted quickly to reel in the brave New Zealand sprinter Summer Passage which sat on the speed the entire trip.
“It was a real shame he missed the Golden Slipper but it could have been a blessing in disguise,” Bowman said.
“With the fillies winning all the majors so far this season that makes this horse the best colt of his era, as a two-year-old, so that makes it very exciting for his connections, and to be a part of his ride is very special for me.”
Bowman stated that he followed the heavily-supported Tulip into the race which gave Invader the ability to sling-shot the field.
“We drew a nice gate today which enabled me to follow Tulip which I though was one of the main dangers and when I needed him to move he was able to give me the extension that I needed and I thought he won with authority in the end,” Bowman said.
It was the fourth Sires’ Produce Stakes win for co-trainer Peter Snowden, who gave credit to the ride from Hugh Bowman.
“He’s always looked to us like he’s wanted 1400m and an absolute peach of a ride,” Snowden said. “When you go back and look at that, I know he drew a decent gate, he drew four but to manouevre and get to where he did from where he was in the clear was something to behold.
“It went a long way to the horse winning today.”
Missing the Golden Slipper was likely a blessing in disguise and it will likely now head to the Champagne Stakes if all goes well.
“Probably (head to the Champagne), a few drinks to go down tonight, he’ll run in everything,” Snowden said.
“As long as he pulls up well, got to be mindful that the horse has been in work a long time. He was in work in November, went to the Gold Coast, only had a ten day break.
“He’s tough but how tough is that to go to another two weeks. Time will tell.”
New Zealand runner Summer Passage was game in defeat for Wexford Stables after sitting on a hot speed up front.
“It was a great effort. He brought his New Zealand form over and ran well,” jockey Zac Purton said.
Trapeze Artist made the most of an inside draw to run well for third. Jockey Tim Clark credited the horse on a tough effort.
“He was very brave. He fought on well. He is a tough horse,” he said.