Darley’s unbeaten colt Safeguard will commence his Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign when he steps out at Caulfield on Saturday in the Group 3 $135,000 Vain Stakes (1100m).
Trainer Peter Snowden has high hopes for the Exceed And Excel youngster and will be aiming him towards the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 2.
Snowden said in the Autumn that Safeguard was one of his better two year olds and wouldn’t have been out of place in the Golden Slipper, but a slight setback in his preparation prevented the colt being ready in time for the world’s richest two year old race.
But Safegurad was still able to show his ability in the Autumn and made it two wins from two starts with a one length victory in the Group 3 $125,000 Ticketek Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on April 13.
“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,” Snowden said after the win.
Snowden pencilled in the Coolmore Stud Stakes immediately after the Kindergarten Stakes win and regards him as one of his top line Spring contenders.
Unlike his stablemate and Golden Slipper runner-up Sidestep who will head towards the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12, Snowden will keep Safeguard to a sprinting campaign.
“Safeguard seems to be a speed horse who I’m leaning towards the Vain Stakes on Saturday, then races like the Danehill Stakes and eventually the Coolmore if he’s good enough,” Snowden told The Daily Telegraph.
“He missed a vital trial last week, but he did have a jumpout on Friday and had a bit of a blow afterwards. He’s still got improvement in him, but also forward enough to run well Saturday.”
Kerrin McEvoy will be riding in Melbourne this weekend and will be aboard Safeguard, leaving the way for Tommy Berry to take the mount on Sidestep in the Group 3 $125,000 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
McEvoy will have to choose between Darley’s two smart fillies Montsegur and Metastasio in the Group 3 $135,000 Quezette Stakes (1100m).
Group 3 winner Montesgur is resuming while Metastasio was well beaten at her first run back by the David Hayes trained Gregers in a 1000m three year old race at Moonee Valley on August 3.
Snowden has also nominated Launay in the Group 2 $220,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), last start Flemington winner Bello in the Listed $120,000 Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) and Chasse in the 1600m Handicap.
McEvoy has already picked up one outside ride and will partner Octavia in the Group 3 $150,000 W W Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 17 for trainer Mike Moroney.