Darley colt Safeguard has recorded three wins from as many starts but trainer Peter Snowden is expecting the lightly-raced galloper to keep on improving when he contests the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Safeguard started his racing career with a comfortable victory in the Christmas Season Plate (1000m) at Flemington in December last year and recorded an impressive win in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick – his only run during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival.
The Exceed And Excel colt returned to the races in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 17 and fought on well to record a narrow victory from Fast ‘N’ Rocking who went on to win McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday.
Snowden was happy with Safeguard’s first-up performance but told Racing Ahead that he believes the three-year-old is an untapped talent that will continue to improve as he gets more racing under his belt.
“He is still very new and that is his problem,” Snowden said on RSN.
“He is just learning what it is all about but he has a lot of talent and I thought that there was a lot to like about his run at Caulfield.
“When he wanted to produce something he found three lengths very quickly and the horse naturally switched off when he wasn’t ridden with any pressure.
“I feel that’s the only reason the other horse (Fast ‘N’ Rocking) got as close as he did.
“Come Saturday we will be making sure he goes right through the line.”
Leading jockey Craig Williams will ride Safeguard in a race for the first time on Saturday and Snowden said he got a feel for the horse in a trackwork gallop yesterday morning.
There is expected to be a fair bit of early speed in the Danehill Stakes and Snowden will be leaving it up to Williams, how to ride the versatile colt.
“He is pretty adaptable so it won’t really matter how this race is run,” the veteran trainer said.
“I think he can do either, he has led from the front and come from the back.”
Snowden has dominated the Danehill Stakes in recent years, winning the race with Aichi (2008), Soul (2010) and Sepoy (2011).