Peter and Paul Snowden are no strangers to Caulfield Guineas success but there was something extra special about Shooting To Win’s victory in Saturday’s $1 million race.
And the emotion was there for all to see for Paul Snowden, five months after forming a training partnership with his father.
Shooting To Win chased down the favourite Rich Enuff ($1.80) to give the father-and-son team its first Group One triumph.
As head trainer for Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley operation in Australia, Peter Snowden prepared Helmet (2011) and Long John (2013) to win the Guineas with Paul as Melbourne foreman.
Earlier this year they went out on their own and Paul Snowden fought tears after Shooting To Win wore down Rich Enuff.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I never thought we would be on this sort of stage this early.”
Shooting To Win ($7.50) was unraced before joining the Snowdens when they started building a team from scratch.
The colt was trained by John O’Shea who replaced Snowden as Sheikh Mohammed’s head trainer in Australia.
The Snowdens were convinced the last-start Stan Fox Stakes winner had the talent to win the Guineas and after Rich Enuff raced too keenly in front, jockey James McDonald and Shooting To Win were there to pounce.
Rich Enuff kicked on the turn as Almalad dropped off.
But he couldn’t put a margin on his rivals like he did in the Prelude and Shooting To Win kept finding a way to draw level and then surge clear.
Wandjina, a $101 chance, came in another length away third.
“We really trust his ability and it shone through today, thank god,” Snowden said.
“He’s just a very special horse. From day one you just knew he was good.”
Peter Snowden stayed in Sydney but Paul said it “meant everything” to notch the significant win with his father.
“He wouldn’t come down. He said `you know what you are doing’,” Snowden said.
While the Snowdens and McDonald were left to celebrate, trainer Ken Keys’ wait for a first Group One goes on.
Michael Rodd said Rich Enuff over-raced.
“He probably only needed to relax for a furlong and he wins the race,” Rodd said.
Keys, who has been training for 30 years and has been waiting for a headline horse like Rich Enuff, was gracious in defeat.
“It’s disappointing, of course, that he didn’t win,” Keys said. “It will happen eventually.”