Former private trainer for Darley Australia, dedicated horseman Peter Snowden is dreaming the 2014 Golden Rose dream with his nicely bred young colt Inkling who races in Sydney on Saturday.
The Duporth two-year-old is a younger brother to Fastnet Rock colt Cluster, eighth in the Golden Rose Stakes last year, who is now prepared by Snowden having been transferred from Anthony Cummings.
“He is similar to Cluster,” Snowden said. “He’s a big type – strong, very athletic.”
Inkling runs in the first at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday facing just five rivals in the $85,000 TAB Early Quaddie Handicap (1200m) at 12:15pm.
They’ve drawn barrier three with Joshua Parr retaining the ride and are the clear $2.20 favourite to win the handicap clash.
If successful the promising galloper will be undefeated having caught the eye on June 18 with their impressive six length win on debut at Warwick Farm.
Snowden, who left Darley to train in partnership with his son Paul, is hoping Inkling progresses the way he believes the horse capable of ahead of a Sydney Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
Their first major spring target if all goes to plan will be on September 13 back at Rosehill in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m).
“I think he can progress. This race will tell us what we do with him but if he happened to win we would probably back off him and look at a Golden Rose preparation,” Snowden told the Racing Network.
“We will know a bit more after this Saturday.
“He won well at Warwick Farm and this is not a bad race for this time of year.
“It’s only a small field but there are about five good hopes in the race. It will give us a good guide.”
Saturday’s race is one that has proved a nice gauge of recent Golden Rose hopefuls too.
Last year Northern Meteor colt Eurozone and Bull Point ran one-two in the corresponding event before finishing sixth and third respectively behind Zoustar in the Rose.
According to their trainer Inkling has progressed well since their big debut and that maturity should see them through second-up when they go up to the 1200m.
“He has progressed well and his work has been good since [his debut],” Snowden said.
“He has certainly improved mentally since his run.
“He’s not as aggressive as he was and is a bit smarter in behind horses and quickens when you want him to.”
Snowden chases his second Golden Rose win in three years having saddled-up the 2012 champ, Sheikh Mohammed’s Epaulette for Darley.
Epaulette went on to win the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at their next start and then ran third behind subsequent Cox Plate runner-up All Too Hard, who continued on to win three more Group 1 races last year, in the Caulfield Guineas in Melbourne.
This year’s $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11 could also be considered for Inkling if they run the right sort of lead-up.