The lure of two Group One runners in Melbourne would usually be sufficient to convince Paul Snowden to head south for the weekend.
But such is his anticipation ahead of McLaren’s clash with Golden Slipper favourite Tassort in the Silver Slipper (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday, he is almost certain to travel to the western Sydney track instead.
“I’d really like to stay here and see how this two-year-old goes,” Snowden, who co-trains the youngster with his father Peter, said.
“He’s a super-talented horse, I feel. He’s going to be better next preparation but we think we’ve got a two-year-old that can measure up and we’re hoping he can do so.”
With Catch Me representing the stable in the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes and new acquisition Land Of Plenty tackling the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield, the Snowdens could be set for a significant weekend.
Along with McLaren, they will have a strong team of runners at Rosehill, but it is the 2019 Golden Slipper prospect that will generate the most interest.
The colt scored three impressive barrier trials wins to start a short-priced favourite on debut in the Canonbury Stakes and while he got the job done, his pre-race nerves wasted precious energy.
So the Snowdens decided to do a little tweaking.
They have taken McLaren for a day out at the track for the past two Saturdays, getting him accustomed to the noise and tension of race day.
He will also wear ear muffs in the pre-race parade on Saturday in another measure his trainers hope will help iron out his nerves.
“We’ve tried everything we can to rectify that and get him nice and settled on the day,” Paul Snowden said.
“He’s continued to improve. I wouldn’t swap him for anything in the race and I’m looking forward to the task ahead.”
James McDonald rode McLaren and Tassort at their respective debuts and has opted to stick with the Godolphin colt, with Kerrin McEvoy taking over aboard McLaren.
The Silver Slipper also features expensive juveniles Faretti and Born A Warrior, who both come into the race off the back of impressive performances at the barrier trials, while Time To Reign will be looking to bounce back after suffering his first defeat at Warwick Farm two weeks ago.