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Invader eyes Champagne celebration

Invader ridden by Hugh Bowman
The absence of Frolic has boosted Invader’s (Pic) hopes of claiming consecutive Group One features.

The corks weren’t exactly popping although Paul Snowden was relieved to learn impressive filly Frolic is no longer an impediment to Invader adding the Champagne Stakes at Randwick to his record.

Although the two-year-old colt beat Frolic home by five lengths when they last duelled in the $1 million Sires’ Produce Stakes on April 1, Snowden still considered the Hong Kong-bound Michael Freedman-trained stand-out juvenile a major threat in Saturday’s Group One race.

“She’s been the form filly of the carnival really. She’s run in everything, and run really well,” Snowden said.

Freedman, who signed off from his Sydney stint with a win by Show ‘Em at Hawkesbury on Thursday, had intended to give Frolic an opportunity to atone her seventh placing in the Sires’ but ultimately three runs on heavy tracks forced a rethink.

Frolic, whose second in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper proved the highlight of her maiden preparation, will be in the paddock when Invader ($1.95) tackles a mile for the first time before heading for a spell.

Snowden said another wet track was no concern with Randwick expected to stay in the heavy range, but there was a query over the distance.

“Going up to a mile is always a little bit of a concern but he’s got a very relaxed demeanour about him,” said Snowden, who co-trains with his father Peter.

“He’s just in a good spot. The win the other day was no fluke. He’s fit and well, he’s a very tough horse.”

Snowden was delighted with Invader’s inside barrier, a gate that allows jockey Hugh Bowman to place him in an influential position.

“I just wanted to draw soft and draw well so he can get the run of the race. He should prove very strong,” Snowden said.

The only downside to Invader’s campaign was the stone bruise that forced him out of the Golden Slipper.

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