Missing the start, may have proved a blessing in disguise for promising colt Defcon (2c Choisir x Nuclear Force, by Encosta de Lago) , who cast off maiden status with a last to first win in the Group III Canberra Black Opal Stakes on Sunday.
Second to Godolphin colts Tessera and Astern in his first two starts in the Group III ATC Canonbury Stakes and Group II ATC Silver Slipper, the Peter and Paul Snowden trained son of Choisir was a hot favourite for the Black Opal.
Punters were not happy when he bungled the start for Blake Shinn, but under cool riding the powerhouse chestnut quickly found his stride and loomed into contention on the turn before dashing clear to win the 1200 metre sprint by a length.
“We discussed it before the race and four different ways to ride him but coming out last wasn’t one of them,” Snowden said.
“The thing about travelling last is not to over-race and he didn’t. But gee he produced a turn of foot – he’s always had that acceleration and it’s just a matter of timing it right.
“A great turn of foot will take them a long way and he just had a bit on them.”
Snowden said he will wait and think on a Golden Slipper start with the valuable colt.
“I’ll think about that – we’ll let the dust settle and enjoy the moment and see what happens,” he said.
A $340,000 Inglis Premier purchase from the Eliza Park International draft for James Harron Bloodstock/ Snowden Racing, Defcon was the most expensive yearling by his sire sold in 2015.
He is the first foal of Nuclear Force, a metro winning Encosta de Lago mare from the family of Group I VRC Oaks winner Rom’s Stiletto.
Her current yearling, a filly by Excelebration was sold at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale for $100,000 with Dynamic Syndications/ Dean Watt / Gai Waterhouse the buyer.
Defcon is the 72nd stakes-winner for Choisir and is bred on the same cross as his Group I winner Japonsime.