Mark Zahra rides Russian Revolution to victory in the McEwen Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)
A bigger, stronger and more mature Russian Revolution put his hand up for a tilt at The Everest (1200m) next month with a scintillating return victory in Saturday’s Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at The Valley.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained sprinter began well and raced outside the leader, eventual runner-up Heatherly, before taking the lead inside the final 100m and storming to a one-length win under jockey Mark Zahra in a time of 58.14.
Paul Snowden said the son of Sntizel would now tackle the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on September 29 before returning to Sydney for the $10 million sweepstake at Randwick on October 14, provided the colt attracts the interest of one of the slot holders yet to secure a representative.
“We targeted this race on purpose because it was a barrier trial for the Moir Stakes in a couple of weeks’ time so it was a good indication to see how he handled it,” Snowden said.
“The Moir will be a crucial lead-up to that race (The Everest) and it’s probably going to be a lot stronger than what it’s been in the last few years.
“That (The Everest) is hopefully the plan and this win is a bit of stand up and have a look at him and what he’s got.”
WATCH: Russian Revolution fire up at The Valley
While he was unbeaten as a two-year-old and captured the Group 1 Galaxy (1100m) as a three-year-old, Snowden said Russian Revolution had made significant mental progression since his last campaign.
Where his pre-race manners had let him down in several starts last preparations, the trainer is confident Russian Revolution will handle the big atmosphere and pressure of feature races this spring, including the Moir Stakes, The Everest and the Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 11.
“He jumped well and put himself there which was always the pre-race plan to be up on the speed,” he said.
“His pre-race manners have let him down in the past so we really centred on that in the last couple of preparations and he’s a lot older now so it was really pleasing to see him get to the gates the way that he did because it helps him perform a lot better.”
The Snowden camp could have up to three horses in The Everest with last-start Concorde Stakes (1000m) winner Redzel and Golden Rose-bound colt Pariah also on the radar of slot holders.
After racing wide without cover, Queensland filly Houtzen fought doggedly to hold third place, narrowly edging out last-start Carlyon Stakes winner Missrock who showed her customary turn of speed.
CrownBet slashed Russian Revolution’s all-in quote for The Everest to $13, while Houtzen eased slightly to $15.