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Ghibellines waited until his fourth start to show the rest of the world the talent his trainer Peter Snowden knew he had on the big stage at Rosehill.

The colt is now Golden Slipper bound after winning Saturday’s Group Two Todman Stakes, something Snowden could not have contemplated a few weeks ago.

Ghibellines - Photo by Steve Hart

Ghibellines - Photo by Steve Hart

A half-brother to triple Group One winner Guelph, Ghibellines finished fifth in the Black Opal Stakes last Sunday week, an effort Snowden said was deflating.

“I was the first to put my hand up and say he was very disappointing at Canberra,” Snowden said.

“We went over him and found nothing physically wrong so we worked him hard over the last two weeks.

“He’s got the talent but lacks a bit of brain up top to be able to use it properly.”

Punters lost faith in Ghibellines who drifted from $21 to $41 and settled at the rear of the field.

Coming to the home turn there was a scrimmage between Risen From Doubt ridden by Hugh Bowman and Wandjina (Nash Rawiller) which Ghibellines avoided as Kerrin McEvoy steered him to the inside and away from trouble.

He got the better of the sentimental and race favourite Unencumbered ($3.20) by 1-1/4 lengths with Cornrow ($10) third.

Nathan Berry, who is ill in a Singapore hospital with viral encephalitis, was to have ridden Unencumbered.

“His grand final is in two weeks,” replacement jockey Craig Williams said.

“He tried his heart out for Nathan and I think he’s still got improvement in him.”

Jim Cassidy, who rode Cornrow but will miss the Golden Slipper meeting through suspension, said the Mick Price-trained colt was impressive.

“The way Nash and Hughie were playing slot cars in front of me I thought I was at Parramatta Speedway,” he said.

“He has run well.”

Price said he was on the lookout for a Slipper jockey for Cornrow but would reserve judgment on seventh-placed Jabali.

 
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