No longer the country’s best maiden, co-trainer Peter Snowden is targeting ‘‘lofty heights’’ in the spring with talented three-year-old Cluster.
The son of Fastnet Rock broke through for his first win on Saturday in devastating fashion at Kembla Grange, bounding away to a 9-length rout in the opening event on the card.
While the Maiden Plate (1200m) was a massive downgrade from the class which saw the colt place at Group level last spring, Snowden – who has taken over training from Anthony Cummings – had no complaints with the impressive performance.
‘‘You’d be disappointed if he didn’t win as well as that,’’ Snowden said.
‘‘There was a lot of hype about the horse before I got him and rightly so, on his work he does work really well.
‘‘But [Saturday] was about a confidence booster for him. I wanted to see him win.
‘‘There is plenty of horses I have had before that are unplaced in big races and you put them back in a maiden and they struggle to win a maiden so it was important for me that he won really well and he did that.’’
Backed into a $1.07 (from $1.10) on track, Cluster made light work of the small field in what was more like a track gallop.
Despite being pestered early by Tariffs, jockey Josh Parr kicked away at the top of the straight and drove hands and heels to the line.
His next test will be a good deal tougher, however.
‘‘We can go forward from this and hopefully run him in a fortnight at Rosehill,’’ Snowden added.
‘‘We have two options there, benchmark races and if he runs well there we will have options to look towards the carnival with him.
‘‘He has got a lot of work to do, but at home, he has shown plenty of ability.’’
Not to be outdone by Cluster’s scintillating display, jockey Josh Parr’s sprint to the car park also turned heads.
Parr was engaged to ride Destiny’s Kiss at Rosehill Gardens in the Winter Cup and had to hit the road running for the 90-minute drive back to Sydney.
He got to the track with enough time to guide pick-up ride Pajaro to victory in the Significant Stakes (1900m) - just two hours after he had coasted to the line on Cluster.
‘‘Very pleasing for him to come here and win like we thought he could,’’ Parr said as he left Kembla.
‘‘They have to do it, so it is pleasing to see him do it. He did it in nice fashion so it certainly makes [the trip] worth it.’’