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Academus gives Darley two Guineas wins
Mark Oberhardt
19:14 AEST Sat May 4 2013

The Stradbroke Handicap is a possible target for three-year-old Academus who gave trainer Peter Snowden a two-state Guineas double with his win at the Gold Coast.

The head trainer for Darley celebrated three wins at the Hawkesbury feature meeting including the Guineas with Limes and a double at the Gold Coast.

Detours won the Listed Silk Stocking before Academus ($5) gave the Darley team the Group Three Gold Coast Guineas (1200m), beating Al Aneed ($20) by a long neck with Dances on Stars ($12) another length back in third.

Much travelled jockey Tim Clark finished a big week with his win on Academus a day after he took the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup on Scream Machine.

Clark rode in Hong Kong on Sunday and was at Kembla Grange on Monday, Warwick Farm on Wednesday, Wagga Wagga on Thursday and Friday and at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

He said Academus had travelled very well and had appreciated having a handy draw which allowed him to sit on the pace, adding he was looking forward to a day off.

"It will be good to have a bit of a rest," Clark said.

Snowden was at the Gold Coast on his way home to Sydney after a rare holiday in Cairns.

Academus is also much travelled having raced in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast in the past year.

"It has made a real horse of him. He did well in his first campaign last year when he was second to Sizzling in Group races on three occasions," Snowden said.

"But this year he is far more mature."

Snowden is looking at races such as the Queensland Guineas (1600m) for Academus but has not completely ruled out the Stradbroke on June 8.

"There are a lot of people trying to get into the Stradbroke but three-year-olds do have a good record," he said.

Snowden will make a decision after Academus runs in the Fred Best Classic in a fortnight.

Larry Cassidy, who rode Al Aneed, said he had been unable to get clear at the right time but the horse had hit the line well.

Brenton Avdulla was impressed with the run of Dances on Stars.

"He ran super. If he draws a better alley he probably wins," he said.

The $2.30 favourite Sizzling ran fifth after getting a long way back.

"They ran about 1.08 so you had to be pleased with the way Sizzling got home," his jockey Chris Munce said.


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