Shooting To Win was given a very quiet barrier trial over 1050 metres at Royal Randwick this morning, but co-trainer Peter Snowden was still happy with the effort of the 2014 Caulfield Guineas winner.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy settled Shooting To Win towards the tail of the field in the early stages of the barrier trial and the son of Northern Meteor was kept under a heavy hold throughout, while Farolitos took out the trial from Diamond Drille.
“He had an easy trial and the plan is to give him three trials,” Snowden told Sky Racing HQ.
“I am happy with him, he never got out of first gear at all today and he had a little bit of a blow, but nothing excessive.
“It was the right sort of trial for him to have first-up.”
Snowden revealed last year that he was tossing up whether to resume Shooting To Win in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens or the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21, but he has now confirmed that the three-year-old will return to racing in the Group 2 event.
The leading trainer said that he will give Shooting To Win at least two more barrier trials ahead of the Hobartville Stakes and plans on having the colt extremely fit ahead of the $200,000 event.
“I was originally planning to run him in the Eskimo depending on how he came up and I just don’t think it is the right option for him.
“Being a set weight with penalties he gets 60 kilos over 1200 metres, which is probably a bit of an ask for him first-up.
“I decided to miss that race and go straight to the Hobartville and for that reason he will have three trials before he gets to there.
“He will trial again on the 30th here and probably another 12 to 13 days after that he will trial over 1200 metres.
“We will give him a good grounding and maybe even a couple of exhibition gallops if we think he needs it.”
Shooting To Win will have his next race start in either the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) or Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 7 and is then set to progress to the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 and the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 4.
Shooting To Win is currently available at 2015 Doncaster Mile odds of $9 with Ladbrokes Australia, while Hong Kong superstar Able Friend ($6) is a narrow favourite from Japanese hope World Ace ($8).