Cluster stormed home late from the tail of the field to score his maiden win at Group level in the 2014 Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Nothing went to plan in the early stages of the race for Tim Clark and he was forced to settle Cluster at the tail of the field next on the rail on the inside of main rival Bull Point.
Corey Brown on Bull Point looked like he had got the jump on Clark on Cluster when he kept him boxed on the inside coming around the final turn, but Clark had confidence in his mount and allowed Cluster to come around the outside of the field before he stormed home down in the final stages of the race to record an impressive victory in the Theo Marks Stakes.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden said that after the race that he was extremely concerned with the position that Cluster was in coming around the final turn, but he paid credit to the effort of the horse and confirmed that the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) would likely be the next race start for the son of Fastnet Rock.
“On paper it looked like he was going to get a gun run, but it just didn’t pan out,” Snowden said after the race.
“He stepped well enough, but just got squeezed out of that spot that we wanted to be in and he was back last with the second favourite outside him making sure that he didn’t go anywhere.
“At the 400 metre mark I was thinking that I don’t want to be here, but full credit to the horse.
“Once he got to the outside he showed what class he has really got.
“He has a massive amount of acceleration, we have seen a bit of that today, and the effort was huge.
“What we have had in mind all along is the Rupert Clarke and I think that is tailor made.
“They should get us in today and I think it is the perfect race for him in a handicap.”
Clark only picked up the ride on Cluster because regular jockey Josh Parr was unable to make the weight and he was delighted with the performance of the four-year-old in the Group 2 event.
The rising hoop said that he remained confident that Cluster had the acceleration required to win the Theo Marks Stakes and he believes that the Fastnet Rock entire has the ability to record a Group 1 victory.
“I knew that I was going to have to come around and I had enough confidence in my horse that he was going to be good enough to do that,” Clark said.
“When I came around him and got onto his back a little bit I was able to let him drag me into and he is some horse.
“I think that he has definitely got the ability to get a Group 1 beside his name now.
“He is a magnificent horse and full credit to Peter and Paul for all they have done with him.”