Brad Widdup mare Sneaky chance in sprint

Black-type placegetter Sneaky Paige will kick off her second campaign for Brad Widdup in the Starlight Stakes and the trainer is looking forward to the fresh slate.

The mare joined Widdup’s team earlier this year following the departure of Mark Newnham to Hong Kong and in hindsight he said it wasn’t the smoothest start.

“I got her last time off Mark and things didn’t go to plan,” Widdup said.

“I wouldn’t say I rushed her last time in, but I probably treated her like I knew her, and I didn’t.

“We gave her a break and started again and her two trials have been excellent.

“She has had a better prep this time in, I know her a bit better, and she has been trouble-free.”

Sneaky Paige has looked bright and keen in her two recent trial wins and along with a handy first-up record, she is also adept on wet ground.

Rosehill was rated a slow 7 on Friday and all of the mare’s victories have been on rain-affected tracks.

Widdup has also been buoyed by Tyler Schiller’s willingness to stick with her after partnering her in the trials, the jockey having been in the saddle for her four career wins.

“He trialled her and was happy to stay with her, so it was a good booking,” Widdup said.

“We’re kicking her off in a solid race, but she handles soft going and she has trialled up really well.”

While the Starlight Stakes (1100m) is the immediate focus for Sneaky Paige, longer-term Widdup is hoping she can embark on her first interstate foray to the Magic Millions carnival at the Gold Coast in January.

The $1 million Magic Millions Snippets (1200m) and the Fillies & Mares (1300m) are both races Widdup would entertain.

“If we can get a run or two in before then, and if she’s going well we will definitely look that way,” he said.

“There is the sprint and the fillies and mares’ race, which is 1300, but you’re in fillies and mares’ grade and it’s not always as strong.”

Sneaky Paige is a $6.50 chance for the Starlight Stakes in pre-post markets with likely leader Malkovich the $3.20 top pick.

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