Oliver looks for successful winter exit

Luke Oliver-trained stablemates Royal Dalton and Stella Command are set to round out their winter campaigns on a high at Sandown.

Oliver said both horses had come to the end of their campaigns but he decided to give each of them one last run on the heavy ground on Wednesday before spelling them.

“We just want to try and see if they can both pick up races before they go out,” Oliver said.

Brad Rawiller will ride Royal Dalton, who is topweight in the Betfair Handicap (1600m), while Luke Nolen is engaged for Stella Command in the Euclase Handicap (1400m).

“Royal Dalton is going OK and he loves the heavy tracks,” Oliver said.


He said he was prepared to forgive him for his last start fifth to Exclusive Choice when beaten more than seven lengths in the Silver Bowl Final (1600m) at Flemington.

“I am not sure what to make of his run last start,” Oliver said.

“He won a Silver Bowl heat before he was disappointing in the final but so were a few others.

“It was a windy day and there were big margins in that race and I reckon he can bounce back and run well.”

Stella Command is having her first campaign for Oliver and the five-year-old daughter of Commands has been productive with two provincial wins and a second in five starts for the stable.

“She won two in a row on heavy tracks and then ran fourth on the synthetic at Geelong last start so back on the wet track will suit her,” Oliver said

Meanwhile the Peter Snowden stable is hopeful that Wednesday’s small field of seven will help the chances of frustrating galloper Beowolf who is a Victorian maiden and hasn’t won since scoring in Sydney in November 2008.

“He is a horse who has been branded as a bit of chaff bandit but in saying that this whole preparation his runs have been full of merit,” Melbourne foreman Paul Snowden said.

“He has had no luck in running which has cost him that length and half or two lengths that he’s been getting beaten, but hopefully we can be a bit positive on him in a small field this time and get the win he deserves.”

Four starts ago Beowolf was beaten just over two lengths when second to Cheronbutch at Sandown and last week was within 1-1/2 lengths of the winner Kudeta at Sandown.

“He has handled the wet tracks at Sandown well this campaign and it should suit him again,” Snowden said.