Pinwheel won’t make the top of Sheikh Mohammed’s honour roll but his feat to pass the million-dollar mark in the Warwick Stakes has him high on trainer Peter Snowden’s list.
Under a confident ride from Kerrin McEvoy, the seven-year-old beat a field of potential spring Group One contenders to defend his title in Saturday’s Group Two race.
And Group Two level is where Snowden says he fits in just nicely.
“No horse deserves it more than he does,” Snowden said.
“He is so honest.
“I’m his biggest admirer. I know he’s not a Group One horse but he just gives his all.”
McEvoy had Pinwheel, the $4.40 favourite, in a handy position and ready to strike in the straight which he did in a few lethal bounds.
He held off the fast-finishing Secret Admirer ($5) by half a length with Danleigh ($26) another three-quarters of a length third.
Pinwheel is from the first crop by Lonhro, another dual winner of the Warwick Stakes as a three-year-old in 2001 and again two years later.
Lonhro went on to greater things but Snowden won’t be tempted, nominating the Group Two Theo Marks (1400m) in three weeks as Pinwheel’s next target.
“We thought about the Alister Clark at Moonee Valley but that might be too savage,” he said.
“And we won’t go further than 1400 metres. A mile (1600m) pulls him up.
“We don’t have many older horses. Really just this fellow and Skytrain and they are great to have around.”
Rival trainer Grahame Begg was satisfied with the performance of Secret Admirer at the beginning of a campaign aimed at the Caulfield Cup.
“They have got to run well in this race to be serious contenders in the spring,” he said.
“Warwick Farm is not her circuit so that makes it even better.
“The Chelmsford will be her next run and then more than likely she goes to Melbourne for the Underwood and the Caulfield Stakes.”
The Group Two Chelmsford (1600m) is at Warwick Farm on September 8.
The Chelmsford is also the next target for nine-year-old Danleigh, a stalwart for the Chris Waller stable and a recent beneficiary of a throat operation.
“He doesn’t know he’s nine,” Waller said.
“I think the throat operation has helped him.”
Jockey Hugh Bowman agreed the gelding had raced like a horse with younger legs.
“It was a great effort,” he said.
“He is a credit to the team and is a fit and very honest horse.”
Former New Zealander Rock `n’ Pop ($5), having his first start for Gai Waterhouse, weakened noticeably in the run home and was later found to be lame in his near hind leg.