There were mixed emotions for the Snowden stable at Randwick with Rulership stamping himself as a serious two-year-old while $2.8 million colt Mount Fuji finished down the track.
Rulership ($2.90 fav), a $900,000 yearling, bounced to the front for Nash Rawiller and controlled the race, lengthening his advantage to win Saturday’s $2 Million Inglis Millennium 14 Days Handicap (1000m) by 2-1/4 lengths.
Mission River ran on nicely for second ($7), a head in front of Ticket To Ride ($8) who was also doing her best work late.
Mount Fuji ($4.80) raced keenly behind the leader and compounded to be beaten more than 13 lengths.
Co-trainer Paul Snowden said Mount Fuji paid the price for over-racing but he was glowing in his assessment of Rulership, who is being set for the Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne.
“It was probably the difference between a horse that was savvy and knows what he’s doing,” Snowden said.
“He is an ultra professional in everything he does and remains on target for a Diamond preparation.”
Snowden, who trains alongside father Peter, says Rulership will contest a Blue Diamond Prelude ahead of the Group One feature.
The stable has a wealth of talented juveniles this season and has won more than a dozen two-year-old races.
Snowden rates Rulership among the best.
“I think we will be guided by his next run to see where he sits among them,” Snowden said.
“Potentially, he has always been one of the top five or six colts in the stable.
“He jumps, travels, sits off. He has a turn of foot and he’s only going to get better when he gets up to six and seven furlongs later on.”
Rawiller picked up the winning ride at the expense of Hugh Bowman, who pulled out of the Randwick program due to personal reasons.
Rawiller was taken by Rulership and said he had the attributes of a proper racehorse.
“I haven’t ridden a colt with an attitude like him for a long time,” Rawiller said.
“You don’t want to get carried away but he gives you the feel of something pretty special.”
Tommy Berry was questioned by stewards over the performance of Mount Fuji and said it was a forgivable run given the colt wasted energy.
“It looked like a lot went right but being on him, there were a few excuses there for a horse having his first start,” Berry said.