Cluster to set the pace in Forum Group Handicap

By: Mark Mazzaglia
July 18th, 2014

Josh Parr won’t be frightened to take Cluster straight to the front in the $85,000 Forum Group Handicap(1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday as the three year old marches towards a Spring Carnival campaign.

Cluster, green and white, runs second to Va Pensiero in the San Domenico Stakes

Cluster, green and white, runs second to Va Pensiero in the San Domenico Stakes. Photo by Steve Hart

Parr has had one ride for one win on Cluster and the pair left the Kembla Grange racecourse with a nine and a quarter lengths all the way Maiden victory on their records with further improvement expected.

“He did everything we wanted him to do that day, he beat an average lot but it was very convincing how he lengthened stride when we entered the straight and again inside the 150m,” Parr told the Sportsman.

“I don’t think it is a bother if he does lead, I don’t think he is a natural leader though.”

“He led up and travelled nicely and into a very strong wind down the straight, the last 400m was in a gale.”

“It was the first time I’d ridden him so that’s what I’m going on so if he can improve off that into a Saturday race it’d be nice.”

Cluster was having his first run for the training partnership of Peter and Paul Snowden at Kembla Grange after being prepared in the early part of his career by Anthony Cummings.

Cummings had already tested the Fastnet Rock colt at Group level and Paul Snowden is hoping a more mature Cluster will be competitive during the Spring Carnival.

“When he raced at a higher level he was probably a bit immature and not ready for it,’ Paul Snowden said.

“He has to race himself into a good horse and get to the better races himself.”

“It wasn’t about the margin at Kembla, obviously it was impressive, but it was the way he did it.”

“It stamped him as a horse with ability, it’s about getting confidence behind him.”

Cluster competed at Group level all the way through last Spring last year against his own age and collected two place cheques with a second in the Group 3 $125,000 Smithfield RSL Club San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill and a third in the Group 2 $220,000 City Jeep Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.

He was finally sent out for a long spell after getting into trouble on several occasions when a well beaten tenth to Long John in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12.

Bookmakers aren’t taking any chances with the Snowden trained three year old and have installed Cluster as the very short priced favourite at $1.75 in the Forum Group Handicap.

The closest in the market order is the Team Hawkes trained Longeron at $7.50 just ahead of Zin Zan Eddie at $8.50 and Rock Sturdy at $9.

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