Trainer Matt Dunn faces a dilemma with surprise packet Snitz who may yet convince connections to pay a late-entry fee for the Group One Stradbroke Handicap.
The sprinter has returned in career-best form, backing up a strong first up win in a benchmark race with a courageous victory in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
“I didn’t put him in the Stradbroke because I didn’t think he was good enough for it and didn’t want it as an option to tempt me,” Dunn said.
“I was actually thinking he is more a Ramornie horse. That is still an option depending on if they smash him (in the handicaps) for that win.
“I never thought he could go to this level, so he is making it tough for me.
“He has won a bit of money now, so paying the late entry for the Stradbroke is an option for the owners, but you would want to see Brisbane open up a bit if we were to go up there.”
In a race that changed complexion when Murillo fired up and over-raced in front, Snitz sat in the leader’s slipstream and quickly took control on straightening.
The $3.40 favourite Greyworm gave chase with Redouble ($13) but Snitz ($3.70) dug deep to score by a half length over Greyworm with Redouble a short head away.
The Murwillumbah-based Dunn said he had expected Snitz to lead and was anxious with how the race panned out early.
But jockey Tim Clark kept a cool head, adjusting to the tempo and biding his time before asking Snitz for an effort.
“When he (Murillo) kicked up under me I could see he put a bit of a gap on them and it allowed me to drop in behind him,” Clark said.
“He carted me everywhere I needed to go and gave me a lovely tow into it.
“It was just a matter of trying to be a bit patient up the rise and trying to time it.”
In a good day at the office for Dunn, his only other Randwick runner, Ready To Humble, finished runner-up in the Highway Handicap.
The day was a mixed bag for Tommy Berry who picked up a victory aboard exciting Hawkes Racing three-year-old Masked Crusader but was also slapped with another suspension.
Berry was outed for four meetings for careless riding aboard second placegetter Celestial Falls in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Handicap at his first Saturday meeting since serving a penalty for overuse of the whip.
He will ride next Saturday before beginning his ban and can return on May 24.