Cosmic Force winning the Pago Pago Stakes (Photo: Lisa Grimm)
Peter Snowden’s opinion counts for more than most when he says there is something special about a young racehorse.
Snowden is among Australia’s best trainers of two-year-olds and when he labelled Cosmic Force a rising star last season, expectations were on the rise.
His judgment was confirmed when Cosmic Force careered away with the Pago Pago Stakes, one of the last lead-up races to the $3.5 million Golden Slipper.
On the strength of that win, Cosmic Force started favourite to win the Slipper before finishing sixth.
It was a case of another missed opportunity for breeder Bob Hannon in the world’s most prestigious race for two-year-olds.
A decade earlier, the Hannon-bred fleet-footed filly Amelia’s Dream was set to keep an unbeaten record in the race before injury cut short her season and ultimately her career.
In between Amelia’s Dream and the emergence of Cosmic Force, Hannon’s Ascot Park Thoroughbred Stud on Sydney’s northwest outskirts, has continued to breed to a high standard of excellence.
Cox Plate winner Shamus Award raised the profile of the small farm on the Hawkesbury River to a new level and Cosmic Force promises to build on its reputation.
Cosmic Force reversed a first-up defeat and ended the unblemished sequence of Standout in winning the Group Two Roman Consul Stakes over 1200m at Randwick on Saturday.
A half-brother by Deep Field to the Group Three-winning mare Onemorezeta, Cosmic Force fetched $180,000 at the 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.
He was knocked down to a syndicate that includes China Horse Club Racing, Newgate Farm and Winstar with Hannon retaining a piece of the colt’s ownership.
For Cosmic Force, it’s onwards and upwards to his most critical assignment of the spring as the Snowden stable sets its sights on increasing the colt’s value at stud.
The training partnership has picked out the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes over Flemington’s 1200m straight course on Victoria Derby day as the race to showcase Cosmic Force’s talent.
The Coolmore is an important race for our breeding industry.
It was won by Cosmic Force’s ill-fated grandsire Northern Meteor in 2008 and continues to produce future stallions with Star Witness, Sepoy, Zoustar, Brazen Beau and Merchant Navy among its alumni.
“He has always been a nice quality colt in our bunch. He’s put his hand up today,” co-trainer Paul Snowden said.
“No doubt a lot of these horses will be meeting each other again in three weeks (in the Coolmore) and now we just need to keep him ticking over.”
Snowden said fitness had cost Cosmic Force first-up in the Heritage Stakes and he was confident the horse could make amends.
“He’s had that run under his belt two weeks ago and he’s improved in his work since so we were quietly confident he’d get the job done,” Snowden said.
Cosmic Force is the sixth winner from seven foals to race out of the Commands mare Little Zeta.
A half-sister to Listed ATC Ming Dynasty Stakes winner, Little Zeta has a yearling filly by Your Song and was covered again last spring by Deep Field.
On winners and earnings, Newgate Farm’s Deep Field is leading the way for second-season sires in 2019-2020.