While admitting the paddock is where Safeguard should currently be, trainer Peter Snowden instead has them in the mix for Saturday’s 2013 Starlight Stakes in Sydney as a test for the Razor Sharp Handicap next month.
The Exceed And Excel colt is one of 13 gallopers nominated for the $100,000 Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens this weekend, Snowden eager to learn as much as he can about the three-year-old.
A winner of three of their six starts to date, Safeguard is already a dual Group 3 winner having won the Kindergarten Stakes at Randwick in April and the Vain Stakes at Caulfield this August both run over 1100m.
They were also competitive when a length away fourth to Charlie Boy in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in September, and second to Lion Of Belfort in the Blue Sapphire in October.
Their last start however was disappointing when they found a drop back from 1200m to 1000m too sharp on Emirates Stakes Day running sixth to Lankan Rupee in the Listed Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes at Flemington.
While ideally Snowden would love to have Safeguard spelling ahead of an autumn carnival campaign, he needs to know a little more about the horse and what distance races they are most suited to target in the new season.
“He only had two runs in Melbourne, but he’s still very raw, and I don’t know enough about the horse,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“He should be in the paddock spelling and getting ready for the autumn carnival, but I don’t know if he wants six furlongs (1200m), or nine furlongs (1800m), I don’t know enough about him.”
To help answer some questions the trainer will run him in the Starlight Stakes this Saturday, with a chance of them backing up at Royal Randwick on December 14 in the $100,000 Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m).
“I just think we need to get race experience into him and for me to find out more about the horse. I’ll run him in this and then maybe the Razor Sharp,” Snowden added.
Their efforts in those two end-of-season sprints will then help Snowden determine their autumn assignments, and where best to take them in the New Year.
The Rosehill race fields for Saturday, including that for the Starlight Stakes, are due out shortly so stay tuned.
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