PAUL Snowden says the scratching of hot favourite Nature Strip paved the way for his speedy colt Wild Ruler to come to Queensland early and contest the Doomben 10,000 this weekend.
The handler will look to use the contest to launch the three-year-old to stardom, much like his two-time The Everest winner Redzel who won his first Group 1 in the race in 2017.
“I have to be honest, when Nature Strip was looking like he was going to run in the 10,000, we were probably going to look at the Kingsford-Smith,” Snowden said. “Obviously when that changed, so did his program.
Snowden said they were offered a slot to run Wild Ruler in last year’s Everest but knocked it back, opting to err on the side of caution with the three-year-old.
After winning the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint last month, their patience could be beginning to pay off.
Another feature race, another feature winner for @SnowdenRacing1
Wild Ruler prevails in the Gr2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint#poweredbyBarastoc#findyouredgepic.twitter.com/haESgM8y6i
“Last year we were offered a slot in The Everest from Chris Waller and we really did take a lot of consideration to running him but the thought process was that he just wasn’t strong enough physically and mentally to cope with that pressure,” Snowden said.
“Haut Brion Her took the spot in the end but we ‘ummed and ahhed’, it was a close call but we didn’t want to run in it just for the sake of it if he wasn’t up to it. Now I think we are lapping up the rewards a bit for doing that.”
Following Marboosha‘s win in the Gold Coast Guineas on Saturday, Snowden said the Queensland carnival had always been in the back of their mind and Wild Ruler fits the profile after having just three starts in Sydney during the autumn.
While the Kingsford-Smith Cup is still on Snowden’s radar, he is reluctant to commit to plans past Saturday, with the handler keen to see how he comes out of the $1 million contest.
“He has to stop somewhere, we would like to have him up for the spring so it all depends on Saturday,” he said.
“He is a well-schooled horse now, this will be his second trip to Queensland and he has been to Melbourne twice. He may have lacked a bit of maturity in the past but he has grown into a man now.
“It is a long time to be out in the paddock if they’re all fine and doing well so it is a lovely lead-up into the spring.”
With a huge group of owners including Newgate Farm and China Horse Club, a stallion career beckons for the son of Snitzel should he be a consistent performer at the top level but Snowden said he expects to race on for the foreseeable future.
Originally published asWild Ruler eyeing Group 1 glory in Brisbane
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