Sneaky Fox has taken a clear lead for Great Southern Horse of the Year on the back of another tough victory at Albany on Easter Sunday.

The Gingerbread Man gelding took the field up to runaway leader Morgs Freeman (Playing God) before registering his fifth win of the season in the Vale Spanner – Manley Hcp (1230m).  “He’s an ultra-consistent little horse and was able to get the better of them in the concluding stages,” trainer Roy Rogers said.

He heads stablemate God’s Moment (4 wins) for the HOTY Award ahead of Brave Contender, Elite Fighter and Rocapozzene (3 wins).

Photo / Western Racepix

Sneaky Fox (5g Gingerbread Man – Reveal Smytzer by Zabeel) was an $8,000 buy from Yarradale Stud at the 2019 Perth Magic Millions.  He the final foal of a Sir Patrick Hogan-bred mare related to G3 WA Sires Produce Stakes winner Bliss Street (Flying Spur).

Rogers went back and purchased a Gingerbread Man – Witchy Ways colt for $25,000 at this year’s Perth Magic Millions.  His dam is a half-sister to 2007 Champion Singapore 3YO Lim’s Objective (O’Reilly).

Sneaky Fox was the third-leg of a treble for Yarradale stallions over Easter.  Leica Jaguar (War Chant) won on Easter Saturday following Gunmetal Grey (Bradbury’s Luck) on Good Friday.

Yarradale elder statesman War Chant (USA) weighed in with Leica Jaguar on WATC Derby Day.  Like his sire, the gelding isn’t far from being retired but he’s going out in style with two wins in a row at Ascot for owner-breeder Mike Fagan and trainer Neville Parnham.

“He worked extremely well on Tuesday morning and seems to be ticking over really well,” Parnham said.  “We will look for another 1000m race although this will be his last prep.  How long it goes for is up to him but Mike has already made arrangements for his retirement.”

Bradbury’s Luck mare Gunmetal Grey broke a run of outs when she overhauled summer star How’s The Serenity in the Marjorie Charleson Classic (1200m) at Ascot on Friday  Trained by Ross Price, she had been runner-up in the LR Jungle Dawn Classic and LR Starstruck Classic during the summer carnival and was winning for first time in 16 starts at Ascot.

Gunmetal Grey (5m Bradbury’s Luck – Metallic Storm by Metal Storm) is a homebred with significant residual value for Greenfields Lodge (Tony Patrizi) and Yarradale Stud (Lyn Sayers).  “She’s a lovely mare and is the easiest horse to train,” Price said.  “She gives her all every time and the only problem is keeping the weight off.

“This was her day and I’m glad it was the race named after such a super lady.  I was only just starting out when Marjorie was synonymous with the summer carnival.  She helped get it off the ground and make it what it is today.”

Price goes back over forty years and his career received a boost with cups queen Rosamoss (Moss Trooper).  The NZ-bred mare won the 1983 Kalgoorlie Cup, Towton Cup and Anniversary Cup for owner-breeder John Blackburn.

The Bunbury reconstruction has also put Price on pedestal with south-west trainers who are using his home track at Capel to work their horses.  “I thought they would do it tough so I asked the stewards to come down and they said my track was a goer,” Price recalled.  “It’s going so so well and I’m happy to help out.  Racing’s been good to me and it’s good to give a bit back.”

The Capel trainers are definitely giving it to their city counterparts.  They won three of the first four races at Ascot on Good Friday!