An injury-enforced withdrawal from the Golden Slipper ultimately produced a silver lining for Invader’s connections when he booted clear to score the $1 million Sires’ Produce Stakes at Randwick.
The colt was diagnosed with a stone bruise of the eve of the world’s richest race for two year-olds but thanks to dedicated treatment by Peter and Paul Snowden’s staff, Invader $8 with Luxbet was able to run down New Zealand’s Summer Passage ($16) over the closing stages.
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks, just sort of biting your top lip after what happened (during) Slipper week,” said co-trainer Paul Snowden before sharing the moment with his father, Paul.
“I couldn’t count how many times he’s had his foot in as bucket in the last two weeks. It’s through the staff’s hard work and persistence that we’re here today.”
Invader, who last ran in the Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 4, was given a dream run by Hugh Bowman and overhauled Summer Passage to hit the line three-quarters of a length clear.
Trapeze Artist ($7) was another three-quarters of a length back in third to present super sire Snitzel with a breeding trifecta.
A relieved Paul Snowden said Invader ($8) was in great order despite a weather-affected build-up and he clearly appreciated a step-up in distance.
“He’s always been looking for 1400, that’s been the biggest plus, just waiting and waiting for this to happen,” he said.
“Once he lobbed in Hughie gave him every possible chance and once he popped out he was certainly the strongest one.
“He’s a very fit, athletic sort of horse. He’s only small but he’s got a very big heart, the little bugger,” he said before thanking the China Horse Club and Newgate Farm for keeping the faith.
“They’ve been patient, I’ll say that. They’ve had a lot of bad luck along the way.
“Hopefully the times have changed, Russian (Revolution) certainly put the writing on the wall last week (in The Galaxy) and this bloke today.”
Bowman said the Sires’ was fitting consolation for missing the $3.5 million Slipper a fortnight ago.
“It was a real shame he missed the Golden Slipper but it could have been a blessing in disguise.
“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.”
Peter Snowden was coy on Invader’s short-term future but the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m) was a possibility at Randwick on April 15.