Lightly-raced three-year-old Exoboom has upstaged his more fancied rivals to take out the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas, as odds-on favourite Ellsberg missed a place.
Jockey Sam Clipperton was thrilled to find himself back in the feature race winner’s circle and was effusive in his praise of the gelding, who he compared favourably to his sire and Group 1 winner Exosphere.
“I actually rode my first Group Two winner on his father. I’m getting old,” Clipperton said.
“The similarities there are quite uncanny. Exosphere was such a huge horse, very raw, and he’s very much the same, so hopefully he can follow in his father’s footsteps.
“He is still lightly-raced and the penny hasn’t dropped with this horse and when it does, who knows what the Snowdens may have on their hands.”
Having just his seventh start, Exoboom ($8) went back from a wide draw and finished hard down the outside to defeat Rainbow Connection ($8.50) with the luckless Black Duke ($61) third.
Black Duke’s jockey Keagan Latham lodged a protest against Clipperton on the winner for interference in the straight but the objection was dismissed by stewards.
Exoboom gave Team Snowden their second Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) win in three years after Military Zone in 2019.
Co-trainer Paul Snowden said Clipperton rode the winner perfectly and confirmed Exoboom would press on to the $300,000 Inglis 3YO Guineas (1400m) at Rosehill in two weeks.
“Sam rode him beautifully off an awkward draw on paper,” Snowden said.
“They ran along quite well for us in the early and middle stages, which was great. But just to get him in some clear air and keep his momentum going forward, he’s a big horse this guy and he’s going to keep improving once he gets up in trip.”
Ellsberg started a $1.90 Neds favourite but was unable to find the lead and never seriously threatened to finish fourth.