Capitalist’s Kalashnikov enters Slipper foray with Black Opal success

kalashnikovKalashnikov (2 c Capitalist - Rough Ride by Flying Spur) is the latest Capitalist (Written Tycoon) colt to throw his hat into the Golden Slipper (Gr 1, 1200m) ring after he battled to a hard-fought victory in the Black Opal Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) at Canberra yesterday.

Trained by Paul and Peter Snowden, Kalashnikov followed up an impressive maiden win at Gosford last month with a head success over Solar Winds (Zoustar) in the Group 3 contest to become Capitalist’s third individual stakes winner and in turn strengthen his promising position in Golden Slipper and place atop the first season sire table.

The Newgate stallion will likely be represented by pre-race favourite Profiteer and the Skyline Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m)-placed Captivant in the $3.5 million March 20 feature, which Capitalist won in 2016.

Paul Snowden believes Kalashnikov has every right to join the party after yesterday’s win.

“He was always going to get the run of the race today and obviously James (McDonald) adds another dimension to it,” Snowden said.

“As long as he comes through it well, there is no reason not to line up (in the Golden Slipper). He deserves a spot now.”

Settled in prime position behind early leader Rocket Tiger (Cluster), Kalashnikov saved ground along the rail before moving off heels into the clear at the 300-metre mark.

The colt claimed the lead from a gallant Rocket Tiger at the 100 metres before holding off Solar Winds on the rail, with Rocket Tiger (Cluster) clinging on for third ahead of the fast finishing Miss Ostend (Zoustar).

Kalashnikov was unplaced in his first three starts, including a fifth-placed effort on debut in October’s Breeders’ Plate (Gr 3, 1000m), but has turned a corner in recent weeks, much to the delight of connections.

“He has always promised a lot,” Snowden said. “He is probably his own worst enemy in a way. He was very erratic and always a little bit strong in his races early on.

“This preparation we have really concentrated on getting him settling. The fruits are starting to show. His last effort at Gosford, albeit a maiden, he did it three deep with no cover.”

With Kalashnikov’s victory, Capitalist has already matched the leading Australian first season sires by stakes winners from the last two seasons, with Night Of Thunder (Dubawi) and Better Than Ready (More Than Ready) both achieving three, and there is still plenty of time for him to chase Spirit Of Boom’s (Sequalo) 2017-18 total of five.

Peter and Paul Snowden also train Captivant, who provided his sire with his first winner back in October.

On Capitalist’s ability at stud, Snowden added: “To have his progeny winning these really good races, it’s a big thrill and franks what he has been doing at stud in his short career - he has been hitting the mark.”

Kalashnikov, a $600,000 Magic Millions purchase for James Harron Bloodstock from the Segenhoe Stud draft, is the second foal out of Flying Spur (Danehill) mare Rough Ride, whose first foal Ready To Ride (More Than Ready) won on debut in November.

Segenhoe will offer the current yearling from Rough Ride, a filly by Shalaa (Invincible Spirit), at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale (Lot 54) next month. She also has a filly foal at foot by Hellbent (I Am Invincible) and was covered last year by Dundeel (High Chaparral).

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