Trainer Peter Snowden has revealed that Shooting To Win is unlikely to contest the 2014 Caulfield Guineas even if he wins the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Shooting To Win stamped himself as a genuine contender at the highest level of racing when he flashed home late to finish third behind Hallowed Crown and Scissor Kick in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m), but Snowden told TVN that he is still not sure whether the three-year-old has the mental maturity to run in a race like the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11.
“I was very close to sending him down to Melbourne this week with Cluster to run in the Guineas Prelude and then on to the Guineas,” Snowden said.
“I was tempted and had to think long and hard about it.
“It has taken him a while to pick things up, to see him produce what he can at home on the race track and I thought going to Caulfield he might get lost.
“Therefore we decided to keep him here in Sydney. If he runs well on Saturday (in the Stan Fox Stakes) I would give it some thought.
“Just mentally I don’t think he is quite there yet, ability wise he works as good as Epaulette and all those good horses.
“I think in another six months he would be ready, maybe not just yet.”
The 2014 Stan Fox Stakes field is set to have a small field after just eight three-year-olds were included in the nominations for the Group 2 event.
Paul Messara-trained Scissor Kick is set to back-up from his brave second in the Golden Rose, while Modoc (ninth), Bachman (12th) and Scratch Me Lucky (13th) will also back-up from the Group 1 event.
Gai Waterhouse-trained Valentia finished third behind Scissor Kick in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and was a fair fifth behind Panzer Division and Shooting To Win in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) and he has been included in the Stan Fox Stakes nominations, but could instead run in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m).
The Stan Fox Stakes nominations are rounded out by Anthony Cummings-trained Volley Of Fire and debut winner Award Of Merit.
The 2013 Stan Fox Stakes was won by Eurozone, while the likes of Show County, Octagonal, General Nediym, Lonhro, Denman and Manawanui have also taken out the race.