Progressive young colt Inkling will race for a Golden Rose 2014 opportunity at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday with co-trainer Peter Snowden confident in the favourite’s ability.
Snowden, who now trains in partnership with his son Paul after leaving Darley Australia earlier this year, is using the opening race in Sydney this weekend to see whether his rising three-year-old Inkling is worthy of a $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) campaign this season.
The classic runs back at Rosehill on September 13 during the early stages of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival and is an event Snowden won, when still with Darley, two years ago with the now retired Epaulette.
After a blistering six length win on debut at Warwick Farm in an 1100m maiden on June 18, Inkling is the short priced favourite at $2.20 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win Rosehill Race 1 – the $85,000 TAB Early Quaddie Handicap (1200m) on Saturday.
They’ve drawn barrier three in the small six horse field with jockey Joshua Parr staying on.
While it’s only a restricted two-year-olds race, the corresponding event last July was won by the Bart & James Cummings-trained Eurozone over Bull Point.
Those two went on to race competitively behind Zoustar in last year’s Golden Rose then finishing sixth and a close third respectively.
Snowden then is hoping to get a similar idea of where Inkling fits into the Rose picture after Saturday’s showdown.
“I think he can progress. This race will tell us what we do with him but if he happened to win we would probably back off him and look at a Golden Rose preparation,” Snowden said on TVN this week.
“We will know a bit more after this Saturday.
“He won well at Warwick Farm and this is not a bad race for this time of year.
“It’s only a small field but there are about five good hopes in the race. It will give us a good guide.”
Snowden is also happy with the progression of Inkling since their first run, his increased maturity an advantage for Saturday.
“He has progressed well and his work has been good since [his debut run],” he said.
“He has certainly improved mentally since his run.
“He’s not as aggressive as he was and is a bit smarter in behind horses and quickens when you want him to.”
Inkling is a younger brother to Cluster who also recently joined the Sydney stables of Peter and Paul Snowden.
Formerly prepared by Anthony Cummings, the three-year-old Fastnet Rock colt ran eighth in last year’s Golden Rose and 10th to Long John in the Caulfield Guineas.
After an eight and a half month break they raced at Kembla Grange on June 28 in their first run for Team Snowden, killing a lower class field of rivals by nine and a half lengths.
Snowden is still deciding on their Sydney Spring Racing Carnival targets but said they would race again Saturday week.
“He (Inkling) is similar to Cluster. He’s a big type – strong, very athletic,” Snowden said.
“Cluster will run next on Saturday week. I’ll nominate him for two races and just see how the weights look and then go from there.”
If all goes well for Inkling leading up to and in the Golden Rose, Snowden then could consider running Inkling in Melbourne with the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11 the obvious target.
Last year’s Golden Rose winner, the Chris Waller-trained Zoustar, though was kept to shorter distances after their 1400m win dropping back to 1200m to win the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes by four and a half lengths at Randwick.
They also won the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day during the Melbourne Cup Carnival by two lengths, also an option for Inkling.
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