Co-trainer Peter Snowden is hoping that the application of blinkers will help Paceman returns to his best form when he contests the 2015 Pago Pago Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Paceman stamped himself as a horse to follow when he recorded a dominant six and a half lengths win in a barrier trial over 740 metres at Royal Randwick on October 31 and he went towards the top of 2015 Golden Slipper betting markets when he made his racing debut with an effortless win in the Appin Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 15.
The Duporth colt trialed in good fashion over 803 metres at Warwick Farm on February 9 and he was very well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21, but he was one of the first horses beaten and he finished a disappointing sixth ten lengths behind Headwater.
Paceman was not overly impressive when he finished second in a barrier trial behind Golden Slipper contender Furnaces at Warwick Farm on February 27, but Snowden has been happy with the trackwork of the two-year-old and is hopeful that a couple of changes will give him the chance to take out the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) this weekend.
“You can’t fault his work and his work has been very strong,” Snowden said.
“He will have blinkers on, on Saturday and D Browne to ride, so hopefully he can weave some magic.”
The 2015 Pago Pago Stakes field was released by Racing New South Wales this morning and a number of lightly-raced gallopers are set to contest the $175,000 race, which offers ballot-exempt entry into the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m).
Godolphin already have at least four horses heading towards the Golden Slipper and they have included debut winners Tarquin and Inner Circle in the Pago Pago Stakes field.
Tarquin made his racing debut with a win at Newcastle on February 19 and he has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), while Inner Circle was too good for his rivals at Rosehill Gardens on February 25.
Another trainer with a strong crop of two-year-olds is Gai Waterhouse and she has included Rapheal’s Cat in the Pago Pago Stakes field, while Chris Waller-trained debut winner Vanbrugh will also contest the race.
The 2015 Pago Pago Stakes field is rounded out by Rodney Northam-trained Odyssey Moon, Street Cry colt Rageese, David Vandyke-trained Arsonist and debutant Intrusion.