Group One racing begins for the new season this Saturday with the results of the spring’s opening elite level, the Golden Rose 2011, to have a dramatic impact on the futures markets for one of the most prestigious three-year-old classics on the calendar, the 2011 Caulfield Guineas.
At Rosehill Gardens tomorrow a diminutive but imposing field of six hopefuls will take to the track for the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m).
All six horses in the Golden Rose field are also nominated for the Melbourne Spring Carnival’s $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10.
Betting markets for both races are currently lead by Anthony Cummings’ glamour colt Smart Missile.
After taking his record to three wins from as many career starts by defeating Rose rivals Foxwedge and Helmet in a breathtaking last-to-first Run To The Rose win, Smart Missile is well-supported in the Golden Rose odds at Luxbet to become a Group 1 winner this weekend.
With his connections talking the talk, easing favourite out from $1.85 to $2 in Golden Rose betting Smart Missile now needs to walk the walk, or run the race as the case may be.
The colt has plenty to prove including his ability to step up to the 1400 metres for the first time if, come Sunday, Smart Missile is to retain their favouritism in the Caulfield Guineas futures betting at Luxbet.
Luxbet have them at the top of their ante-post Caulfield Guineas 2011 odds paying $4.60, but if Smart Missile is defeated on Saturday in an upset Golden Rose result and fails go the distance, this price will blow out.
Second favourite for the Rose and Guineas is the Peter Snowden-trained Helmet, already a dual Group winner over 1400 metres and 1600 metres respectively.
The punters are tuning into this and since Golden Rose betting opened Helmet has been the best-backed in from $4.40 to $3.60 at Luxbet.
They are also well fancied in the Caulfield Guineas markets, nipping at Smart Missile’s heels at a quote of $5.
Helmet can make the mile and win over the mile against his own age, he did it in the Champagne Stakes in Sydney as a juvenile and he can do it in Melbourne as a three-year-old.
Five dollars is generous for Helmet in Guineas betting and you likely won’t find him at this price after the Rose, so now is the time to get behind him at Luxbet.
Ace hoop Glen Boss, booked to ride Smart Missile on Saturday and excited to be doing so, has Helmet on his radar and knows if there’s an upset win by any Golden Rose runner but his it will be the Darley colt.
“I feel Smart Missile ahs the wood on them but Helmet is the one to beat,” Boss said this week.
“I’m going to be as close to Helmet as I possibly can during the race.
“Despite the small field, this is going to be an amazing race – everyone has got a chance at winning the $600,000 prize money.”
While the 2011 Golden Rose is certainly looking like a two-horse race on paper, there are four other horses in the mix and the only sure thing in racing, aside from Black Caviar, is there are no sure things.
This means that despite what the bookies and odds suggest, any horse engaged can potentially claim the lucrative $600,000 Golden Rose first prize.
The other 2011 Golden Rose acceptors – Caulfield Guineas nominees are:
- Foxwedge (John O’Shea)
Golden Rose Odds: $9 Luxbet
Caulfield Guineas Odds: $6 Luxbet
Progressive Fastnet Rock colt won the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) first-up at Rosehill on August 13 holding strong in a fast finish. Was only a quarter length away from Smart Missile last start in the Run To The Rose and only needs to step up to the 1400 metres and improve around half a length to take the honours here. Should get the run of the race in a small field from the inside alley. Has the edge fitness wise as they are third-up, however, third-up last season they failed in the Golden Slipper so still a query.
- Manawanui (Ron Leemon)
Golden Rose Odds: $7 Luxbet
Caulfield Guineas Odds: $15 Luxbet
Can’t exactly call this gelding an “unknown” runner as there has been plenty of media attention over them since connections chose to take the gamble and pay the $50,000 late entry for them to get into the Golden Rose field. This doesn’t mean much, however, as to get back their layout Manawanui only needs to run fourth in a six-horse race. Can they do better than that? Their record says yes with a hat-trick of wins and a third form four career starts. They beat a handy field by four and half lengths first-up in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) and showed they were not only able to impress, but capable of improving with seemly plenty left in the tank. While it wasn’t a Group One field and they haven’t faced these horses, they are the next best credentialed behind Helmet in regards to the distance and check out August 15 trials at Rosehill – winner by 10 lengths on a heavy tack over 1030 metres – nice.
- Aeronautical (Lionel Cohen)
Golden Rose Odds: $10 Luxbet
Caulfield Guineas Odds: $18 Luxbet
Another horse that is an unknown against this company, but getting plenty of pre Golden Rose attention, just ask his jockey Nathan Berry how good he is. While Berry has gone on and on about this horse, the Encosta De Lago gelding must come on a long way to take down a dual Group 1 winner and an undefeated colt that was able to defeat said dual Group 1 winner last start. Connections say that a month break won’t be a problem, Aeronautical last seen winning the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) by nearly four lengths on August 6. They go up 3.5kg in the weights from that win, and haven’t finished better than fourth carrying a similar weight. They have had a lot of poor luck in bigger fields though and in a closely run six-horse showdown could have the speed to surprise, just query them after such a strangely-timed prep.
- Flight Of Pegasus (Scott Aspery)
Golden Rose Odds: $101 Luxbet
Caulfield Guineas Odds: $151 Luxbet
Is this a good horse trainers would be happy to have in their stables? Yes. Can they win the Golden Rose on Saturday? No, well, on paper no. Aspery hasn’t shied away from the fact that this race is merely a stepping stone for the horse who is predicted to go better over more distance later into their prep. Has won once from four starts, but has been far from disgraced with good runs behind good horses. Resumed as a three-year-old finishing five and a half lengths away from Smart Missile in the Run To The Rose, will be better second-up but not that much better.
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