By Ray Hickson
Trainer Peter Snowden has his eyes firmly fixed on the Group 1 Galaxy for exciting colt Wild Ruler after he resumes in Saturday’s Listed $140,000 Tokyo City Keiba Fireball Stakes (1100m) at Randwick.
It’s a similar profile to the one the Snowden partnership used with 2017 Galaxy winning three-year-old Russian Revolution who won the Roman Consul in the spring and ran well in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes before elevating to Group 1 winner in the autumn.
Wild Ruler was a comfortable winner of the Group 2 Roman Consul in October then chased home September Run and Swats That finishing third in the Coolmore.
“He’s been building, he’s been getting better, each prep he’s come in he’s been better than the last so hopefully he can do that this prep,’’ Snowden said.
“It’s a good starting point for him, he’s pretty well weighted considering what he’s done.
“The Coolmore winner and second ran second and third in the Lightning so the form stacks up well.”
The colt won two barrier trials in February leading into his first-up assignment, with race day jockey James McDonald on board, and Snowden can’t fault what he’s seen.
He said they won’t be wasting barrier one but McDonald will be in control of whether he leads or sits off the pace.
“His trials have been great, the horse is in good order and the best he’s ever looked,’’ he said.
“He seems to be settling really well in his trials, we’ll go out there with a positive frame of mind.”
Snowden has maintained since dual Group 1 winner King’s Legacy returned this time in that he can reach the top level again in the autumn and he'll have his chance to live up to that view in the Group 1 $1m Mostyn Copper Randwick Guineas (1600m).
King’s Legacy won the Sires’ and Champagne Stakes as a two-year-old last year and Snowden said his first-up sixth in the Hobartville is better than it looks on paper.
“He jumped well and our plan was to be in the first four or five,’’ he said.
“He was going to come in and sit right behind (North Pacific) three back one out and Brenton (Avdulla) came out on John O’Shea’s horse (Lion’s Roar) and it made him go back to second last.
“The pace steadied out of the race and made it a dash home. Mathematically he couldn’t win but it was good to see his sectionals stacked up.”
The colt ran the second fastest last 600m of the Hobartville, 34.24 (Punter’s Intelligence), so gained a pass mark.
“I was happy with his run I just wish he could have been in that spot we wanted to be then we could mark his card a bit harder,’’ he said.
“You have to be forgiving, the time he ran we give a tick for that and I can’t fault his work since the run.”
The difference this time, as he attempts to turn the tables on Aegon in the Guineas, is King’s Legacy will jump from barrier three so Snowden expects him to settle in the first four or five and hopefully not concede so much start.
Wild Ruler wins a trial at Canterbury on February 23
He’s a $19 chance with TAB and Tom Marquand has the ride.
“The big thing for him is the draw, he has a decent gate, and with the blinkers on now he won’t be getting so far back,’’ he said.
“If you have to go back one or two lengths further than you should be that’s three or four tenths or half a second and that’s win or lose no doubt about it.”
Consistent mare Jen Rules is first-up in the Group 3 $160,000 Fujitsu General Wenona Girl (1200m) and Snowden said she’s there to run a cheeky race.
Jen Rules hasn’t won since January last year but she has managed two Group 2 and two Listed placings since then and was a recent trial winner at Randwick.
“Her second trial was very good, she goes well fresh. It is a strong race but I consider her a good each-way chance,’’ Snowden said.