Nathan Berry is brimming with confidence ahead of Saturday’s 2011 Golden Rose, the top young hoop excited to get back in the saddle of Lionel Cohen’s progressive galloper Aeronautical as they tackle a field featuring many of the season’s best three-year-olds.
Yesterday there were 10 horses left in contention for the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m), the maiden elite level race of the season to take centre stage at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.
Updated Golden Rose 2011 odds at Luxbet on the 10 remaining hopefuls are clearly lead by odds-on favourite, Anthony Cummings’ undefeated colt Smart Missile at $1.90.
These are still futures odds with the official Golden Rose final field and barriers due for release on Wednesday, indicating the huge hype over Smart Missile and their ability to not only race second-up for the first time in their career, but also step up to 1400 metres and defeat the likes of Peter Snowden’s Helmet – already a dual Group 1 winner over 1400 and 1600 metres.
Despite the attention the two race favourites are getting, Helmet sitting on the second line of Golden Rose betting at Luxbet paying $5, Berry is bullish about the chances Aeronautical has of causing an upset on Saturday.
“He is going into a Group 1, one of the best Golden Roses I’ve seen, and I don’t doubt his ability one bit,” Berry said.
“I know he can compete with the best three-year-olds in the country.
“If he gets the right run I think he can beat them hands down.”
2011 Golden Rose Odds
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.
Encosta De Lago gelding Aeronautical burst into Golden Rose contention when they broke their maiden status in a 1200 metre handicap at Randwick back in July.
Berry, 20, was aboard the galloper for their debut win, which was his first time riding Aeronautical and Aeronautical’s third career start, and from that moment he knew connections had a special horse on their hands.
Aeronautical stepped out again on August 6 to win the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) by a commanding three and a half lengths, Berry again in the mount and again thrilled by what the horse showed him.
“The thing I like the most is when you ask him to accelerate his back-end lowers, feels like you are galloping on clouds,” Berry said.
“I don’t think you can get a better feeling.”
Berry got the winning feeling with Aeronautical again last week when riding the untapped talent for a bit of track work at Rosehill.
“I think he is outstanding,” Berry said.
“I worked him on the course proper at Rosehill last Tuesday and his work was faultless.
“He probably had the hardest gallop he has had on Tuesday and he ran home the last two furlongs in 22.26 seconds.
“It was effortless.”
Currently Aeronautical is rated an $8.50 chance in the Golden Rose odds at Luxbet, a great price on a horse Berry has tipped as a genuine Group 1 galloper.
“I’ve said to Lionel, if he doesn’t win the Golden Rose this year he’ll definitely win a Group 1 next prep,” Berry said.
“I’ve galloped a lot of top-liners for Peter Snowden, Anthony Cummings, Gerald Ryan but I’ve never sat on (a) racehorse like this.
“He is special. You think there is nothing left and he is then just brilliant.”
Berry admitted that he held a high opinion of the competition Aeronautical faces on Saturday, believing this year’s Golden Rose would be one of the most entertaining in recent history.
“Smart Missile, he is unbeaten, you can’t fault him,” Berry conceded.
“He was brilliant the other day (in the Run To The Rose). What we saw the other day was outstanding, and you’ve got Foxwedge, Helmet, Manawanui – the Golden Rose is going to be a real dogfight and our horse is up for it.
“There is no doubt in my mind he can win the Golden Rose.”
Whether you believe Barry and believe Aeronautical is the horse to back in the Golden Rose odds, or you are of the opinion that Smart Missile will maintain his unbeaten record, the only place to bet is online at Luxbet.
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