He’s time consuming but the extra attention needed to get Great Esteem to the races can have its most significant reward so far at Randwick.
Thanks to careful management that extends well beyond early-morning exercise gallops, Great Esteem is one of the favourites to make it four wins from many starts for the Snowden stable on Saturday.
Two provincial wins and a city midweek success under the watch of Peter and Paul Snowden have Great Esteem gradually realising the early potential that earned him a start in one of Australia’s most important three-year-old races.
“He’s always had a massive rap on him,” Paul Snowden said.
“When David Hayes had the horse he ran in the Caulfield Guineas so he wasn’t short of ability but the injuries he’s had have held him back a lot.”
Because Great Esteem’s legs aren’t in the shape they should be for an equine athlete, ice has become a constant companion in a daily regime to maintain an appropriate level of soundness.
“He’s high maintenance. He lives in ice and you can only do your best to patch them up and try to get them one hundred per cent on the day,” Snowden said.
It doesn’t mean Great Esteem loses out on the training track as the four-year-old which cost $600,000 as a yearling, is sent out over a middle-distance for the first time since his arrival in Sydney in the TAB.com.au (1800m).
Apprentice Koby Jennings takes over after Hugh Bowman rode Great Esteem to Kembla Grange and Warwick Farm wins.
Bowman’s feedback has been strong enough to suggest the winning streak can continue in a race where stablemate Jitterbug will also take her place.
“Hugh senses a lot of purpose in his work,” Snowden said.
“We’ve been able to place him really and he’s got a lot of confidence. He really looks great and he’s done well.”
Two-year-old Stravigo completes the Snowdens’ Randwick team when the youngster runs as a double-figure chance.
While they may be small in numbers at the races, the stable looms large off the track as one of the most prolific buyers at the Magic Millions yearling sales.