Record-breaking New Zealand apprentice hoop James McDonald can’t believe the generous odds on his 2011 Golden Rose mount Foxwedge, and is tipping an upset in the opening Group One showdown of the season this Saturday.
The $1 million Golden Rose field this year features just six hopefuls, but the quality of contenders is second to none giving Luxbet customers plenty to be excited about ahead of the Rosehill Gardens feature.
Odds-on favourite to become the Golden Rose 2011 winner and extend their unbeaten streak to four is Anthony Cummings’ electrifying youngster Smart Missile.
Fastnet Rock colt Smart Missile, a winner of all three of their career starts to date including their huge last-to-first victory in the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m), is firming in the Golden Rose odds at Luxbet now paying $1.80.
Following Smart Missile in the Golden Rose betting are Peter Snowden’s dual elite level hero Helmet ($4.20), explosive Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes winner Manawanui ($7) and the untapped Aeronautical ($8.50) fresh off a four week turnaround.
After all of these gallopers, and before final acceptor Flight Of Pegasus ($41), lies Foxwedge.
The John O’Shea-trained son of Fastnet Rock is at a quote of $9 through Luxbet to upset their rivals and salute on Saturday.
McDonald and many others in the racing game fancy these odds on Foxwedge who came up trumps with the inside draw in the Golden Rose barriers.
McDonald partnered with Foxwedge for a track gallop on Tuesday and was impressed with what the horse showed him.
“He galloped the best he’s galloped for me,” he said.
“He’s definitely on the way up and ready to peak on Saturday.”
Foxwedge has twice been defeated by Smart Missile, but connections believe this weekend is their chance to turn the tables on the very talented, but still beatable, favourite.
After winning on debut at Rosehill last November, Foxwedge came back last March to win the Clarry Conners Plate (11000m) at Warwick Farm in a nice two length effort.
They came up against Smart Missile for the first time at their next run, Foxwedge finishing an eye-catching third beaten just over a length by the winner and shock runner-up Sepoy in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m).
After finishing unplaced in the Golden Slipper, Foxwedge was sent to the paddock to recover and mature and resumed with an excellent first-up victory in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 13 where they showed true grit to hold off a fast-finishing Anise by half a length.
In the final Golden Rose lead-up, Foxwedge again caught the eye when coming within a quarter length of Smart Missile to finish second having also started from the inside alley in that run.
With a great Rosehill race record, the perfect draw, jockey of the moment aboard and a little bit of luck there’s nothing stopping Foxwedge running away with the Golden Rose victory this year, although McDonald was still wary of the competition.
“He’s definitely capable of taking the Rose out,” McDonald declared.
“It’s a pretty hot field and I wouldn’t rule out Helmet.
“It’s going to be a good run and any of the five can take it out.
“He’s (Foxwedge) definitely capable of beating a horse like Smart Missile if the tactics are right on the day.”
The Tooheys New Golden Rose is scheduled to run as Rosehill Race 5 on Saturday at 3:20pm (local).
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