Sniffy Working Towards Richmond Oaks Defence

REIGNING Richmond Oaks winner Sniffy continues her quest towards another tilt at the group 2 feature at Richmond this Friday night.

Adam Dobbin

21 January 2021

REIGNING Richmond Oaks winner Sniffy continues her quest towards another tilt at the group 2 feature when she steps out in a red hot 618 metre event this Friday night.

But to annex the $5,000-to-the-winner non-grade event the daughter of My Bro Fabio will need to overcome box five, middle draws nothing new to the 11-time winner of $77,045 in stakes.

“She’s drawn boxes 4,5 & 6 at 13 of her past 15 runs – I’ve stopped losing sleep over it,” said trainer Mick Hooper.

“But it is frustrating. It makes it hard trying to maintain her confidence when she’s forever drawing badly in good races. But she’s going as good as ever and the plan is to aim towards the Oaks again with her.”

Heats of the open age Group 2 Richmond Oaks are slated for February 26 with the $40,000-to-the-winner finale to be staged a week later on March 5.

In last year’s Oaks decider, Sniffy handed then-trainer Leo Vanderburg his maiden group race success when scoring off the rails in 30.88.

And despite currently plying her trade over the longer distances, Hooper says he’ll have no hesitation in dropping the talented bitch back to the 535-metre Oaks journey in four weeks’ time.

“She’ll run 30.50-30.60 no doubt … that’s her,” Hooper said.

“I stepped her up to 720m last Saturday night just to see how she’d run it out and the run was better than it might look on paper.

“They ran 5.23-15.89 early which would win every 280m race going around and she got more checks than a bank in the run.”

Friday night’s 618 metre event at Richmond, race seven on the program, could be easily likened to a top class city event.

Hugely exciting middle distance up and comers Ava Wine (box four) and Cawbourne Footrot (box six) take their place as does Dapto Middle Distance Championship winner Second Exit (box seven).

And when you include Group 1 Zoom Top winner Just Terms (box two) and recent 35.48 winner Esther’s Diva (box one), it’s reasonable to suggest winning connections will earn every dollar of the $5,000 first prize.

“It’s as hot a 600m race as you’d find but I don’t think we’re out of it,” Hooper said.

“She’ll go around big odds but I think the draw helps her. Ava Wine and Cawbourne Footrot are on either side of her and they can stand there.

“I think the red Esther’s Diva will decide the race and our chances.

“Whether we can cross her early – if we can she’s right in it.”

Three starts back Sniffy landed her one and only Richmond 618 metre assignment when running down Ava Wine – a subsequent 35.32 winner – right on the line in 35.63.

The quality of Friday night’s 618 metre event at Richmond further illustrates the success being enjoyed since GRNSW elected to heighten middle distance prizemoney last August.