Trainer says Group 1 runner isn’t a 50/1 chance

Co-trainer Paul Snowden knows Carif isn’t punters favourite horse but he’s at a loss to explain why the gelding is the price he is to win Saturday’s $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick.

Carif has only managed two wins from his 24 starts but his ability to stay and consistency once he gets to a mile and a half and beyond has seen the gelding earn more than $450,000 during his career.

Carif has started six times at 2400 metres or longer, for placings in the Hotham Handicap, VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Chairman’s Handicap and the ATC St Leger. The two other starts returned fifth placings in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes and Queensland Derby.

“His record says he doesn’t win too often but his record at 2400m and beyond is not that of a horse that’s a 50 to one chance in a Metrop,” Snowden, who trains in partnership with his father Peter, said.

“You’d go mad as a trainer if you worried about bookies prices all the time but this one was a shock.

“I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the market for the race.”

Carif hits his preferred distance range for the first time of the campaign on Saturday off three encouraging performances less suitable distances.

“He’s going really well,” Paul Snowden said. “All his runs have been good this preparation.

“He closed off in the Rowley Mile then beat a few of his rivals on Saturday home in the Chelmsford and that was at weight-for-age.

“Last time he drew out and closed off well in the Kingston Town but this is his go, a mile and a half and further.”

Two-time champion Sydney apprentice Robbie Dolan takes the reins aboard Carif on Saturday.

Now a senior rider, Dolan is yet to taste Group 1 success from 14 attempts but the combination of a favourable barrier draw of nine and 52.5kg has Snowden optimistic that Carif can figure in the feature staying handicap.

“He’s ticking a few boxes going into Saturday,” he said.

“His lead-up runs have been as good as ever, he’s going to get his favoured track conditions, drawn ideally and he’s out to the right distance now.

“In all his work at home he’s been finding the line, let me tell you.

“It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s right there in the finish.

“He’s got to have a pretty entertaining run to be given a real winning chance but he’s definitely a good place chance.”

Carif is at top odds of $51 and $13 in betting markets on Thursday afternoon following the scratching of $7 second favourite Shared Ambition.

Originally published asA 50/1 chance? No way says trainer

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