He may have the most Australian sounding name in the sport, so it was fitting that Snags McKenzie would kick off the Australia Day weekend with a win in the listed Australian Sprint at Sandown Park tonight.
Drawn unfavourably in box 8, ‘Snags’ stepped moderately but showed great acceleration to cross and lead favourite Tiggerlong Tonk through the first turn. He quickly opened a four length break on his rivals down the back straight, a margin he’d maintain to the line to salute in a slick 29.29.
The $15,000 winner’s cheque was some consolation for David Burnett after having to scratch kennel star Simon Told Helen form the group 1 National Derby run just half an hour before the Sandown Park feature.
First run in 2014, the Australian Sprint has quickly built one of the sport’s most impressive honour rolls with Orson Allen, Up Hill Jill and My Bro Fabio among the past winners.
Snags McKenzie claims the listed Australian Sprint
Earlier in the night, RSN Sandown Cup winner Rajasthan claimed his second Sandown Park feature victory when taking out the Maidment Memorial (Listed, 595m) in 34 seconds.
It continued a rich vein of form for the Robert Camilleri trained stayer in which he’s won three and finished second in each of the five starts since reverting to the middle distances.
Rajasthan wins his second Sandown feature race, the listed Maidment Memorial
The big talking point of the night came in race 3 which saw Jim Zarr Dashian run the ninth fastest time ever recorded at Sandown Park when he registered a staggering 12 length victory in 29.02 seconds. After recording smart splits of 5.04 and 18.68, Jim Zarr Dashian found another gear in the run to the line recording a stunning run home time of 10.34.
It was the third win from just five career starts, and trainer Jamie Ennis will now target the $410,000 Launching Pad sweepstakes series
Jim Zarr Dashian sets Sandown Park alight!
Click here for full results from tonight’s meeting.
Click here for further information about the 2020 Launching Pad series.