Peter and Paul Snowden have made headlines with their juveniles this season, laying the foundations for their young team to shine in the spring.
But behind the scenes, they have been developing one of their older horses just as meticulously.
In Peter Snowden’s previous incarnation as head trainer for Darley, genuine stayers were not a high priority.
They were few and far between, and if the team did have a Cups runner, it was usually from their European arm.
Snowden’s opportunities in Australia’s best staying races have been limited but now, settled in a partnership with son Paul, the duo have uncovered a rare gem in rising five-year-old Carif.
Carif stood up as a spring four-year-old last year, placing in the St Leger in Sydney and the Hotham and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Melbourne.
Knowing he was not yet the complete package, the Snowdens saw an autumn campaign as crucial to his development.
Carif pleased them with his four Sydney carnival runs, culminating in a second to Raheen House at Group Two level.
“That’s the golden ball at the end of the chain,” Peter Snowden said.
“He is a seasoned horse now. He has had a couple of good preparations to give him a good grounding.
“And what might help this year is, I wouldn’t think the overseas horses would be able to travel, so it just might make an Aussie Cup and give us a chance.”
Carif has been back in work for over a month and has been pencilled in to kick off his campaign in Sydney before heading to Melbourne.
The stable will keep plans relatively fluid, pending any developments in the coronavirus pandemic.
That will also be the case with their talented team of rising three-year-olds, headed by star colt King’s Legacy who will resume in September to chase more Group One goals.
Stakes winner Dame Giselle shapes as an ideal candidate for the Princess Series in Sydney while the likes of Aim, Bartley and Sancy could also figure in the feature three-year-old events.