Russian Revolution outguns rivals in Group 2 McEwen Stakes

Russian Revolution
Mark Zahra returns on Russian Revolution after winning the Mitty’s McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday. Photo:

THE expected match-race between Russian Revolution and Houtzen never materialised in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes, but Russian Revolution did stake a massive Everest claim.

The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained colt entire was travelling beautifully throughout the run, sitting just off the pace set by Heatherley.

Race-rival Houtzen was sitting three-wide throughout and never looked likely as Russian Revolution got the better of its rivals close to the line.

“He’s a very exciting sprinter,” winning jockey Mark Zahra said. “I could hear Houtzen under the whip around the turn and I thought I’d be tough to beat from here.”

The son of Snitzel was well-backed late into $3.40 with Ladbrokes and that confidence was evident on track as it looked a picture. Zahra had the four-year-old relaxed and ready to strike when it mattered most.

“He’s a beauty. He just cruised around, he had speed, but he could sit off that horse (Heatherly) and relax,” Zahra said.

“We only had one to beat in the straight.”

Co-trainer Paul Snowden indicated how important winning the McEwen Stakes was in terms of getting a spot into The Everest. Snowden will target the Moir Stakes before hopefully heading to Sydney for the spring sprinting feature.

“We targeted this race on purpose and it was a barrier trial for the Moir,” Snowden said. “That’s the plan (The Everest), this is a stand-up and have a look to see what he’s got.

“The Moir is a crucial lead-up to the Everest.”

Some punters weren’t expected Russian Revolution to sprint over 1000m in a fresh up state, but Snowden was always confident it would show the early toe.

“The plan came off well and Mark rode him well,” he said. “It’s a normal trait of Snitzels. They come together quickly and he’s furnished into a nice colt.”

Toby Edmonds, trainer of Houtzen which ran into third late, was disappointed with the lack of barrier speed shown by the Magic Millions winner.

“She wasn’t brilliant from the barriers, I thought she might be a bit sharper,” Edmonds said. “Whether or not there was merit in that run, I’m not sure.”

Edmonds was contemplating heading to the Moir, but will likely change tact.

“That was a nice run for the future, she’s been around this way now and we’re happy to come back in three weeks,” he said.

“I think we’ll run in the Scarborough (Stakes, September 29) now and not the Moir.”

Russian Revolution has shortened into $5 at Sportsbet for the Moir Stakes with favouritism still holding with She Will Reign.

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