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California Turbo begins Queensland Derby quest

By Glenn Davis

Team Snowden says California Turbo’s win during The Championships in Sydney was no surprise and is hopeful the gelding can push on to the Group 1 Queensland Derby at Doomben in June.

California Turbo was a betting drifter to double figure odds in the Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) at Randwick on April 14 before flashing home for a narrow win.

The son of Fastnet Rock will make his Brisbane debut in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic at Doomben on Saturday as he bids to complete a hat-trick of wins ahead of a possible start in the Queensland Derby (2400m) at Doomben in June.

California Turbo’s Randwick triumph came off an easy first-up victory at Newcastle last month.

“He won effortlessly at Newcastle when they went mad in front,” said co-trainer Paul Snowden said.

“He was the only horse who came from last to win that day.

“It was no surprise to us to see him win at Randwick last time.

“The odds were no reflection as everyone considered his form coming off a provincial win into a Listed race.”

Snowden has warned the Gunsynd Classic won’t be a make-or-break bid for California Turbo to run in the Queensland Derby.

“I’m sure he’ll stay but this run on Saturday won’t decide if he runs in the Derby,” he said.

“He’ll have another run over 2000 metres in a couple of weeks which will probably determine if we push on.

“We want him going into the Derby with four runs under his belt.

“I’ve got little doubt he’ll stay as there’s plenty of stoutness on his dam’s side and he’s by Fastnet Rock.”

Snowden expects California Turbo to settle midfield and isn’t concerned with Doomben favouring front runners.

“If they go fast, they can stop just as fast,” he said.

“He’s still learning but he’s got a good turn of foot.

“I expect they’ll roll along in this race so he won’t be on the pace and he’ll settle midfield.”

Team Snowden won an early battle with rival Chris Waller in the Gunsynd Classic when jockey Robbie Fradd was booked for both California Turbo and the Waller-trained Omenica.

The jockey mix-up was resolved when Waller scratched jockey Jeff Lloyd’s mount Sambro allowing the premier rider to switch to Omenica.

Racing Queensland webnews   April 26