A talented field of fourteen has been confirmed for the featured Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse on Saturday.
Some of the Spring Racing Carnival’s most exciting three-year-olds will line up for the race, but betting has so-far been dominated by the Chris Waller-trained Omei Sword and the filly should prove very tough to beat.
Waller has also confirmed former Queensland galloper Nikitas in a two-pronged attack, while Godolphin, Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott and Lindsay Park all hold strong hands.
Below is a brief analysis of all fourteen three-year-olds confirmed in the 2016 Golden Rose field.
Astern carries winning form into the Golden Rose. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos
Astern immediately stamped himself as a colt to follow upon debuting for success in a minor sprint in December, and returned to racing this year for a comfortable victory in the Group 2 Silver Slipper (1000m) in late February. While going amiss when eleventh in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), the son of Medaglia D’Oro atoned with a typically-slick performance to dead-heat the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes with El Divino during The Championships. Astern returned to racing this time for a dominant win over many of his Golden Rose counterparts in the Group 2 The Run To The Rose (1200m) a fortnight ago, but will undoubtedly require luck in running on Saturday after drawing the wide and reasonably awkward barrier 12.
One of two for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott in the Golden Rose field, Astern is drawn ideally in barrier 4 and has the notable advantage of leading hoop Hugh Bowman in the saddle. Winning a Gosford minor on debut by more than six lengths, the half-brother of champion mare Winx returned to the paddock after dead-heating the Kindergarten Stakes. Sure to have taken plenty of benefit from a first-up run for fourth in the Run To The Rose, El Divino appears as though he will relish a step-up to 1400m. I think he’s the value of the race, particularly each way.
Good Standing has displayed plenty of potential through his short racing career so far, but he appears as though he still has some work to do before he reaches the level of some of his Golden Rose opponents. Winner of the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) most notably in autumn, he returned for ninth in the Run To The Rose, but could receive a good run in transit from barrier 6.
A legitimate chance of success for Team Hawkes in Saturday, Divine Prophet carries winning form into the Golden Rose and will again be partnered by Tommy Berry. Ending his autumn preparation a credible third in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), Divine Prophet had clearly taken plenty of benefit from his time away from racing when he returned for a win in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m). The Choisir colt could get lost in running from barrier 10, but he’s a leading chance of a first three finish and at good odds.
A full brother to champion Sizzling, Nikitas more than stamped himself as a colt to follow in an impressive debut campaign for Kelso Wood, peaking with a close second to Capitalist in the Magic Millions 2.y.o Guineas (1200m) in January. Having somewhat gone amiss in winter, Nikitas has transferred to the care of Chris Waller this season and ran on for sixth in the Run To The Rose first-up. There are worse blow-out chances that Nikitas and I believe he is overs at his current quote.
Thronum is one of two for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott in the Golden Rose field. Photo: Steve Hart
Thronum is Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s second runner in the Golden Rose and will require plenty of luck from barrier 13. Having impressed in a few minor Sydney sprints, the Snitzel colt won the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) but didn’t produce much when third in the Up And Coming Stakes last time out. Kerrin McEvoy is a positive, but he could be falling away in form at the wrong time.
Impending is Godolphin’s second chance of defending Exosphere’s Golden Rose crown, and was at one stage a pre-post favourite for the race. There isn’t a lot to dislike about him – he’s drawn ideally in barrier 3 with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle, and is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from a first-up third in the Run To The Rose. 1400m should prove ideal and I would not at all be surprised if he saluted at double-figure odds.
Lindsay Park have a big opinion of Derryn and he appears to be building towards something special. Derryn returned at the end of July for a maiden win in the Brian Reckas Handicap (1000m) before producing a particularly gutsy effort in the Up And Coming Stakes last time; unlucky not to hold off Divine Prophet. He’s drawn well in the centre of the field but he may not quite be up to the quality of this field’s top liners just yet.
Mediterranean is an interest prospect in the Golden Rose, but is probably a little out of his depth at this point of his preparation. He produced a smart performance for second in The Rosebud, but was fading in the late stages of the Run To The Rose last start. Two big positives are Blake Shinn and barrier 5, but I would be surprised if he finished in the money.
Oink was something of a consistent performer in his native Queensland through winter, but his $101 is certainly not an overreaction and it is tough to see him making anything of an impression this weekend. He did defeat Impending in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial (1200m) on the Gold Coast, but this is a completely different kettle of fish.
Brisbane trainer Liam Birchley has a huge opinion of Chamalu, but the colt has made only one competitive appearance and it was in a minor on the Sunshine Coast. There’s nothing to say the three-year-old won’t make an excellent galloper at some point this campaign, but he is well and truly thrown into the deep end in the Golden Rose and is a justifiable $150 chance.
Yankee Rose is drawn ideally in the Golden Rose. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos
Yankee Rose has not been seen at the races since she broke through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), but this race is cut-out for her to dominate first-up, particularly with Zac Purton in the saddle. Yet to run worse than second through four career starts, the All American filly produced a slick turn of foot to finish second behind Capitalist in the Golden Rose and is treated particularly well in the weights as a filly at 54.5kgs. Trainer David Vandyke was pleased with her effort in a gallop between races last weekend and I believe she will be very hard to beat.
Omei Sword’s first-up performance for success in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) proved the filly is in line for a particularly smart preparation and she is drawn perfectly in barrier 3 with Joao Moreira aboard. Chris Waller is thrilled with the filly’s condition and believes she will be perfectly suited to the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) in October. She is a justifiable occupant of the top line and I believe she will finish in the first three, however I also believe a few of her rivals represent far-better value.
Another runner for Liam Birchley, O’Reilly Cyrus has been pretty strong in Brisbane, but her entry into the Golden Rose might just be an afterthought. I cannot have her at all, she is drawn in the outside gate and is a $126 chance for a reason.