Smart three year old Cluster is set to put his Spring Carnival credentials on the line when he returns to city racing at Rosehill on Saturday.
Cluster is now under the care of Peter and Paul Snowden and the Randwick co-trainers went back to basics with the Fastnet Rock colt to secure a nine and a quarter lengths win in 1200m Maiden at Kembla Grange on June 28.
“If he was going to measure up, he needed to win a race like that,” Peter Snowden told The Daily Telegraph.
“What I liked about his win was the way he went through the line. He was strong, and the further he went, the stronger he looked.”
Snowden is keen to see Cluster perform against city class gallopers to give him a pointer as to what feature races he is likely to aim the colt towards and a start in the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 4 is not out of the question.
When prepared by Anthony Cummings, Cluster was pitted against the best in the land and competed at Group 1 level against the three year olds in the Spring.
While Cluster finished down the track in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill and the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield, he did perform well when beaten less than half a length when third to Divine Calling in the Group 2 $220,000 City Jeep Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 27.
Snowden said the Cluster is ready to take on the older horses in the $85,000 Forum Group BenchMark 80 Handicap over 12000m at Rosehill and has drawn barrier seven in the nine horses field with Josh Parr to ride again.
“He’s in good order, I’m happy with his work, he’s ticking along nicely, and Saturday is just another race for him to see where he fits in,” Snowden said.
“I am mindful of how far away the main races are, so I’m trying to spread his (runs) a bit.
“I want him racing around September and October.
“We’re only just into July, so I don’t want to have too many races before the main ones come, if he’s up to them.
“That’s why I’ve left it three weeks since his first-up run.”