One of last season’s boom juveniles and Darley’s stable stars, the Peter Snowden-trained Helmet will take the first step towards their Group One spring assignments with a barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Friday.
There are 13 heats scheduled for Warwick Farm on Friday, with a plethora of Group performers being put through their paces ahead of their resuming races.
Snowden has 10 runners set for a hitout with Helmet leading the contingent.
“He trials Thursday,” Snowden confirmed.
“I’m really happy with this horse.”
A well-bred Exceed And Excel colt, Helmet did just that during the autumn – exceed and excel.
From five career starts to date they have won four, their only defeat being their third on debut behind speedy filly Karuta Queen at Rosehill back in October.
Last preparation Helmet strung together four on the trot including the prestigious and rare Group 1 AJC Sires Produce Stakes – Champagne Stakes double.
While Snowden is looking forward to saddling up his other dual Group 1 winning star Sepoy for the first time as a three-year-old in the $100,000 Listed Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield this Saturday, he is also eagerly awaiting the race return of Helmet who he believes is an untapped talent despite the fact they have already collected over $677,000 in prize money for owner Sheikh Mohammed.
“He’s the horse I’m looking forward to seeing the most,” Snowden admitted.
“To me he never went anywhere near fulfilling his full potential.
“His raw talent is unbelievable, he doesn’t how good he is.
“He has so much talent, hopefully this prep, we get the best out of him.
“He’s such a quiet horse and such a good track worker.
“Hopefully he’s matured up as he’s a real talent.”
Helmet is engaged in the second Warwick Farm trial over 800 metres on Friday where they will face the likes of stablemate Aerobatics, early Thousand Guineas favourite Pane In The Glass and Clarry Conner’s multiple stakes winner Decision Time.
Snowden has pencilled in the $125,000 Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on August 27 as Helmet’s first-up run.
They are likely to vie for a hat-trick of Group 1 victories in the $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) on September 10, while Snowden is also planning a trip down to Victoria for the Melbourne Spring Carnival where Helmet will be aimed at the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8.
With the Caulfield Guineas run over the mile, Snowden will get a better indication of Helmet’s staying potential, the gifted horseman at this stage predicting him to get to 2000 metres.
“I honestly think he’s going to get 2000 metres,” Snowden said.
“I think a mile to 2000 is for him and will be his right trip.”
This would bring Helmet into contention for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), Australia’s richest weight-for-age feature to run at Moonee Valley on October 22.
In the latest 2011 Golden Rose odds at Luxbet Helmet occupies the third line of betting at $5 behind Sepoy ($4), who is an unlikely acceptor, and the Anthony Cummings-trained Smart Missile ($4).
Meanwhile, futures betting on the Caulfield Guineas 2011 has Helmet as the $8 co-favourite with Smart Missile and in the 2011 Cox Plate odds at Luxbet Helmet is rated a $15 chance.
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