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Gunnison springs surprise in wet

Gunnison has announced himself as a potential Golden Slipper contender much to the surprise of his co-trainer Peter Snowden.

The least favoured Todman Stakes runner from the Peter and Paul Snowden stable at Randwick on Saturday, Gunnison ($8) held off his stablemate Invader ($4.40) by a short head in testing conditions.

Menari was the well-supported $2.30 favourite and looked poised to strike in the straight but was found wanting on the heavy ground as the runners steered to the outside rail as the fillies had in the Reisling Stakes.

Gunnison remains unbeaten from two starts which came after four barrier trials.

“He was gelded after his second trial. The ambulance hit him in the bum he was so slow,” Snowden said.

“I keep bagging him but he keeps stepping up and surprising me.

“The runner-up was brave as well.

“I’m not sure about the Slipper for Gunnison. I’ll talk to the owners about it.

“His win at Canberra was very, very good, albeit what I thought was an average race.

“He ran time and he’s very genuine.

“I would have been happy to run a place in this class.”

Blake Shinn rode Gunnison sporting the same colours he wore to win last year’s Slipper on Capitalist.

“I’ve had a great association in these colours,” Shinn said.

“James Harron and the whole group of owners have really supported me and we’re really building a nice partnership.”

Jockey Tim Clark, rider of the long-time second favourite for the Slipper Menari, said the Gerald Ryan-trained colt just got tired.

“He ran up to win and was the winner until the furlong,” Clark said.

“He got tired on the heavy track. He handled the ground but I think his fitness just gave out.”

Menari missed a start in last week’s Skyline Stakes when he cut his lip and needed stitches.

He won a barrier trial on heavy ground on Monday ahead of Saturday’s race.

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