Knoydart has earned his place in the Newmarket Handicap and the chance to give trainer Peter Snowden and his son Paul a victory in the final Melbourne Group One race of their tenure with Sheikh Mohammed.
Darley paid a $55,000 late entry fee to run Knoydart in Saturday’s Newmarket (1200m) at Flemington after his Oakleigh Plate placing and he will be joined in the race by stablemate Albrecht who is chasing a valuable Group One win.
Melbourne foreman Paul Snowden said Knoydart’s form justified giving him the chance in the Newmarket and he rated him the stable’s leading chance.
“He’s tackling these races at the top of his game,” Snowden said.
Snowden and his father will begin a training partnership in Sydney in May with Paul to finish with Darley later this month.
Knoydart will work down the Flemington straight on either Monday or Tuesday and Paul Snowden is confident the four-year-old will handle straight racing.
Since being gelded Knoydart won three races in a row before his fast-finishing third in the Oakleigh Plate.
“He’s racing so relaxed at the moment and that’s why he’s hitting the line so hard,” Snowden said.
“So if he can relax and build and build and then still finish off the way he has been, he’s a big chance.”
Oakleigh Plate winner Lankan Rupee is favourite at $4 ahead of his Mick Price-trained stablemate Samaready ($4.40).
Last year’s winner Shamexpress is at $4.80 and trainer Danny O’Brien is following a proven pattern and will give the horse a jump-out down the straight on Tuesday.
Moment Of Change and Knoydart are at $7 while Albrecht is at $26.
Tim Clark rides Knoydart while Chris Symons will partner Albrecht who is chasing his first win since the 2012 Up And Coming Stakes.
He was second to Terravista first-up in the Southern Cross Stakes in Sydney on February 22 and Snowden rates him a knockout chance.
“We’re really trying to get a result hopefully with him,” he said.
“If he can’t win but runs a place he would be Group One-placed twice, and if he won it would be great. It just makes him as a stallion.
“He can be retired on that day.”