Peter Snowden has pencilled in the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 4 as the main Spring target for Cluster after the three year old maintained his unbeaten record for the stable at Rosehill last Saturday.
Cluster was having his second race start for the Peter and Paul Snowden training partnership after being transferred from the Anthony Cummings stable and kept connections and punters happy with a narrow win after the odds on favourite had to overcome a slow getaway.
Even though the winning margin was less than half a length, Peter Snowden was satisfied the performance and will now map out a program heading towards the Sydney Spring Carnival’s feature ‘mile race’ at Randwick.
“The Epsom is the race we are aiming at,” Peter Snowden told AAP.
Cluster had been expected to be racing in the leading division but after being a little slow to leave the barriers, Josh Parr was content to settle the colt near the tail for the field.
“He probably did get further back than we wanted,” Snowden said.
“And I think when we analyse the race the win will be better than it looked.
“He had a lot of work to do to come from behind.
“It was an important win because he needs to get his rating up to get in the better races.
“I think his rating is about 82 and is four or five points below where we want it to be to have him peaking in early October.”
Parr was happy with the way Cluster adapted with the change of tactics after setting the pace at his previous start when a nine and a quarter lengths winner in a Kembla Grange maiden.
“He just laid on the side of the barrier,” Parr said.
“He didn’t do a hell of a lot wrong but when we came out half slow I just got him to come back.
“Horses with this ability, they are so adaptable, you can ride them wherever you like.
“I’m doing all I can to stay on him. All you can do is win on them.
“I haven’t been this excited about a horse for a while.”
Cluster had to come from last on the home turn and would have recorded a faster last 600m sectional than the official 34.34 seconds for the final 600m of the Forum Group BenchMark 80 Handicap (1200m).
Snowden has picked out the Group 3 $125,000 Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick on August 23 as Cluster’s next run before heading to the Group 2 $175,000 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 6 in the lead up to the Epsom.