Cluster has continued his exceptional run of form since joining the stables of Peter and Paul Snowden this season, overcoming poor running position with a keen turn of foot in the final straight to win the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Jumping from the gates only fairly, the Fastnet Rock entire was forced to settle in awkward position at the tail of the field, boxed onto the rail by noteworthy opponent Bull Point and allowing Tougher Than Ever, Laser Hawk and Ninth Legion to set a reasonable tempo.
Finding the final straight wide and at the rear of the field, Cluster steadily moved his way towards the lead with 400m to run, finding an extra gear at the 200m to finish in the clear of Bull Point; Ninth Legion following through for third.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden was thrilled with Cluster’s ability to overcome his early racing position and win the 2014 Theo Marks Stakes, outlining the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 28th as likely-to-be the next point of call.
“On paper it looked like he was going to get a gun run, but it just didn’t pan out,” Snowden said immediately after the race.
“He just got squeezed out of that spot we wanted to be in and back where he was last, and the second favourite outside him making sure he wasn’t going to go anywhere.
“Full credit to the horse; once he got the outside he showed what class he’s really got and that might have franked where we go now.
“He’s got a massive amount of acceleration and we saw a bit of that today.
“I think what we’ve had him on all along is the Rupert Clarke and it think it’s tailor-made, as long as we get in and that should get us in, but I think it’s a perfect race for him, a handicap.”
Jockey Tim Clark delivered an exceptional performance to guide Cluster the victory in the Theo Marks Stakes and was quick to compliment his class and the work of Peter and Paul Snowden immediately after dismounting.
“I knew I was going to have to come back and around him, and had enough confidence in my horse that he was going to be able to do that,” Clark said.
“When I came round him and got into his back for a little bit I let him drag me into it, and he’s some horse.
“I think he’s definitely got the ability to get a Group 1 beside his name now. He’s a magnificent horse and Peter and Paul have done a great job.”
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2014 Theo Marks Stakes Results
|1||8||CLUSTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tim Clark||–||4||53kg||$3F|
|2||5||BULL POINT||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||0.2L||8||53kg||$3.80|
|3||2||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||1.7L||5||54.5kg||$6.50|
|4||6||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||Anthony Allen||2.1L||6||53kg||$8.50|
|5||3||ZEPHYRON (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||3L||3||54kg||$16|
|6||4||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||Jason Collett||3.3L||1||53.5kg||$11|
|7||7||TOUGHER THAN EVER (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jeff Lloyd||4L||2||53kg||$21|
|8||1||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||Kerrin McEvoy||11.1L||7||59kg||$31|