Military Zone lands plunge in G3 Classic

By: Stephen Rodgers Saturday 25 May 2019

Peter Snowden will let the dust settle before committing to a Stradbroke Handicap start with Group Three Fred Best Classic winner Military Zone.

Winning the Classic makes Military Zone exempt from a ballot for the Group One $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 but Snowden wants to weigh his options before announcing his decision.

"It's way too early to say whether or not he'll run in the Stradbroke," Snowden said.

"He's a really nice horse. I've always liked this bloke and he's getting better with racing but I reckon he's another prep away.

"He's probably a spring or autumn horse not so much now. There's a long, hard thinking process to go through now and hopefully we make the right call.

"I just don't want to bust the horse. It's always in the back of your mind that one run too many could be the undoing of them rather than the making of them.

"I'll give myself an uppercut if he runs (in the Stradbroke) and runs poorly because he doesn't deserve that. I'll let the dust settle and make a decision in a week's time."

Ridden by James McDonald, Military Zone was confidently backed from $4.20 into $3.30 favouritism when he held Baccarat Baby ($81) at bay to score by a length with Krone ($61) a head away third.

"I've had the pleasure of riding some nice horses today and he's one of them," McDonald said.

"Throughout the day things didn't quite go to plan as we'd hoped but it was good to bookend the meeting with a couple of winners."

When asked what advice he would give to Snowden regarding a Stradbroke start McDonald said: "I'll leave it to the master. I've got no opinion."