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Monday, January 30, 2023

Two-year-old grandmaster Snowden focused on next move with King’s Gambit

Master juvenile trainer Peter Snowden has been here before and, while the buzz for two-year-old King’s Gambit hums around him, he simply waits to see it again on raceday.

King’s Gambit gave a galloping exhibition in the Debutant Stakes at Caulfield in the spring in what was probably the best two-year-old effort of the season, but he will be judged again when he steps out as $1.40 favourite in the Canonbury Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.

King’s Gambit cruises to victory in the Debutant Stakes last year.

King’s Gambit cruises to victory in the Debutant Stakes last year.Credit:Getty

“I don’t get caught up in the expectation on these young horses – the disappointment is too hard to cope with,” Snowden said. “I have had horses with booms on them fizz out and others go on.

“The thing with two-year-olds is they need to keep improving if they are going to be there on grand final day. That’s what we are looking for in the next couple of months, the horse that keeps stepping up. You can’t judge them on one run.”

The grand final is, of course, the Golden Slipper, a race King’s Gambit is the $6 favourite for. He will almost certainly shorten for it if he wins as expected carrying a penalty at Rosehill on Saturday.

“It is a good test for him because Red Resistance won well first up and Waller’s horse [Shinzo] has some raps on him,” Snowden said. “If he can win, it will be a good sign. But there is still long way to go.”

Snowden and son Paul have shown in the past decade that getting two-year-olds right is their strength, and again this year they have a strong team backed by Newgate Farm and James Harron.

In their 10 years in partnership, the Snowdens are the only stable to have won every two-year-old group 1, including three Sire Produce Stakes, two Champagne Stakes, and a Golden Slipper with Capitalist.

That doesn’t include Peter Snowden’s success when he trained at Darley, including winning every two-year-old group 1 in 2011 with Sepoy, Helmet and Benfica.

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