Paul Snowden has reflected on what might have been after Marishka, a sister to 2013 Golden Slipper winner Overreach, made a triumphant debut at Canterbury.
While rapt to watch the filly claim her maiden at the first attempt, Snowden also pondered the fate of Outreach, a colt he also trained with his father Peter by Exceed and Excel out of Bahia.
“We had a colt that should have beaten Vancouver in his first start. He was second by three-quarters of a length and he broke seven bones in his hock,” Snowden said.
“He pulled up lame straight away and had to be retired pretty much on the spot.
“We thought he was going to be a Slipper winner, it was very damaging to see what happened to him.”
Outreach was nursed back to health and now stands at Widden Stud.
Marishka, who was held back from racing as a two-year-old to develop, made an impressive beginning to her career under Blake Shinn as the $1.95 favourite by wearing down Shudabeen ($9) to score a Maiden Handicap (1100m) by a long neck.
“It was a pleasing effort. She had a lovely run in transit and popped out a the right time. She was good late,” Snowden said.
“She’s going to gain a lot out of today. She did everything right back at the stables and handled the day extremely well. There’s a fair bit of upside to her.
“She’s still just learning how to gather herself up and really ask for an effort under pressure. It’s pretty effortless what she does at home, she doesn’t get off the bridle a lot so it’s a learning curve for her today.”
Snowden said he would maintain a patient approach with Marishka, who is raced by her breeder George Altomonte, and expected her to thrive in her next preparation.
“We’re doing the right thing by her and giving the opportunity to develop,” he said.
“She’s not overly big in stature but she’s got a bit strength about her.”
Promising colt Faeger also got off the mark for the Snowden duo after a gear change helped sharpen his focus.
“Blinkers really switched him on,” jockey Tim Clark said.
“With race fitness on his side he was able to put himself into a good spot and he fought on strongly.”
Snowden had no specific plans for Faeger but thought he would appreciate a step up in trip.
“He’s probably going to be better suited over a touch further,” he said.