Trainer Peter Snowden has taken the blinkers off Shooting To Win in a bid for the three year old to return to the winner’s stall in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Shooting To Win will be tackling weight for age company for the first time and Snowden can see the colt’s only chance of beating the older horses is if he can settle off of the pace.
The Northern Meteor colt has been left in or near the lead at his two runs this campaign when beaten as favourite and Snowden says that his failure to relax has led to his undoing on both occasions.
“Made a little gear adjustment with him, I left the blinkers off him for this Saturday,” Snowden told Racing HQ.
“Just the fact that he has been racing and had no pace, and he is starting to get a bit too keen in the early and middle part of his races so we want him to relax a little more and at that level you can’t afford to make a mistake.”
“That’s not his pattern at all. He is a far better horse that gets back and chases. He is just one of those horses that focuses up if there is nothing in front of him.
“Both his runs this time he has found himself in front. He straightened in front in the Hobartville and he found himself in front all the way in the Guineas the other day. So we are banking on a bit more speed in the big field, that normally generates a bit of pace.”
Shooting To Win, with the blinkers on, went on to win the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival before being sent for spell.
The three year old resumed for a fourth to Hallowed Crown in the Group 2 $200,000 Blackwoods CRC Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 21 and then ran third to the Bart and James Cummings trained colt again in the Group 1 $600,000 Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 7.
Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul, says they are pleased with the way Shooting To Win has come through his Randwick Guineas run and expects him to be a major force against the older horses in the George Ryder Stakes.
“He has done really well. I am happy with him,” Peter Snowden said.
“Can’t fault his work at all, he looks in tremendous order. He is a horse who normally builds through a preparation and we are quietly confident that he will be very hard to beat Saturday.”
Top Sydney jockey Blake Shinn has been aboard Shooting To Win at his two runs this preparation and has the mount again this weekend.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Cosmic Endeavour is certain to go forward again from barrier four after leading all the way to win the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 7 and Shinn will be able to get a nice trail from gate three.
Shooting To Win and Cosmic Endeavour have opened up the equal $5 favourites for the George Ryder Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of the Chris Waller trained Kermadec at $5.50.
Japanese galloper World Ace is next in the betting at $7 ahead of Criterion, Real Impact and It’s Somewhat all at $11.