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Aaron Purcell will saddle up Snoano in the Anniversary Vase
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Trainer Aaron Purcell has slipped back into a quieter lifestyle at Warrnambool after enjoying a hectic six months as the replacement trainer for suspended Ciaron Maher.

Since handing back the reins to Maher, Purcell has only had six runners in the ensuing two weeks.

On Sunday he won the Terang Cup with the imported Swacadelic and on Saturday he will unveil another former European, Snoano, in the Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m) at Caulfield.

“I bought him in November and he got to Australia around Christmas and has been in work three-and-a-half months now,” Purcell said.

“He’s fairly forward and should run well.”

Snoano won a Listed race during the Royal Ascot meeting last June when he lowered the colours of Kidmenever who ran third over 2000m.

Kidmenever travelled to Melbourne with Charlie Appleby for last year’s spring carnival, finishing eighth in the Herbert Power Stakes before running second in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.

Purcell will allow Snoano to determine how high he will be aiming later in the year.

“He’s raced against some pretty handy horses but I’m not sure how that English form translates out here,” Purcell said.

“He’s probably had a bit more racing than a lot of the horses that come to Australia.

“I would like to think that he’s a Geelong or Bendigo Cup type of horse.

“Obviously I’ve got to work him out a bit as we go along but that’s sort of what we are banking on.”

While Snoano did his early work at Warrnambool, Purcell took the opportunity to take the six-year-old to the Caulfield stable before Maher returned.

Purcell gave Snoano a trial over 1190m at Cranbourne on April 3 as part of his preparation for Saturday’s Australian debut.

“He’s a pretty consistent performer and his work and trials since arriving have been pretty solid,” Purcell said.

“I’ve just got to place him right and I’m sure he’s going to do a good job.”

A total of 28 horses have been nominated for Saturday’s race including Lindsay Park’s Fastnet Tempest, He Or She, Pilote D’Essai and So Si Bon.

The Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) with prize money of $120,000 has attracted 23 entries while the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m) has 29 entries.

 
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