Darley two year old Safeguard will be spelled and set for the Spring after taking out the Group 3 $125,000 Ticketek Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick today.
Safeguard was having his first start since winning over 1000m at Flemington on debut in December and was solidly supported in the betting ring to start the $3.10 second favourite behind the unplaced Peter Moody colt Il Cavallo ($2 favourite).
Winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy elected to change his pre-race plan and go back near the tail of field after jumping from a wide alley while Luke Nolen on Il Cavallo let his colt slide up along the fence to race with the leaders after leaving the barriers slowly.
“We had planned it to go forward in the first couple. It just worked out a little bit sticky. I would have had to do too much work, and it paid off in the end for me,” McEvoy said.
“He was a nice winner in the end. So there’s more things to come, not only this time in with this horse but next time.”
Winning trainer Peter Snowden rated Safeguard his Golden Slipper youngster but a slight setback a few weeks ago forced the trainer to change direction and he produced the Exceed And Excel colt in fine style today.
“He always showed us a bit of ability. To come here today and beat a fairly solid lot, that will do him a world of good and he will learn from that,” Snowden said.
“He’s still a green horse but he’s a talented horse.”
Snowden is keen to send Safeguard to the spelling paddock and then prepare for the Melbourne Spring Carnival with the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington for the three year olds his main Spring goal.
McEvoy was able to sneak up along the fence once heads were turned for home getting the better of Il Cavallo who was the first horse beaten and started to paddle at the 300m.
After passing Il Cavallo, McEvoy sliced in between runners before easing to the outside to beat Everage ($15) by a length with Diamond Oasis ($21) a further two and a quarter lengths away in third spot.