Jockey Kerrin McEvoy isn’t scared of the two crack colts topping the 2012 The Run To The Rose odds and believes his mount Epaulette has every chance of winning Saturday’s Rosehill feature.
Running as Rosehill Race 5 at 3:10pm the $125,000 Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) is a blockbuster this year with Golden Slipper winner Pierro and Black Caviar’s boom half-brother All Too Hard to battle it out in round two.
The pair first met during the autumn with Gai Waterhouse’s son of Lonhro Pierro taking the honours with their Inglis Sires Produce Stakes success, the second leg of the autumn 2YO triple crown that Pierro enjoyed a whitewash in.
Pierro may be first-up and the 60kg topweight but they are the $2.20 The Run To The Rose betting favourite in the current markets, All Too Hard a close second paying $2.50.
Epaulette meanwhile is the $7 third favourite and the only other hopeful in the small six-horse field under $10 in the markets.
The Commands colt won their opening two career starts firstly over Sherocksmyworld in a 1200m handicap at Rosehill on Boxing Day and then the Listed Black Opal Stakes 11 weeks later at Canberra.
Next start Epaulette gave Tulloch Lodge a scare when they came within a short half-head of defeating Pierro in the Group 2 Todman Stakes at Rosehill in March.
They failed to fire next start however when they finished dead last (16 of 16) when six lengths off Pierro in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the Golden Slipper on April 7.
Still the bookies have seen the promise in the 2012 Caulfield Guineas – Cox Plate nominee as too has their regular rider McEvoy.
One thing firmly in Epaulette’s favour for their rematch with Pierro on the weekend is the weights.
In the Todman the pair met equal on 55kg but on Saturday Pierro (60kg) gives two and a half kilos away to Epaulette, something McEvoy is planning to make the most of.
“We meet him better at the weights this time,” McEvoy said.
“We haven’t crunched him (Epaulette) at home so hopefully he’ll deliver.
“Pierro’s still got to come back, which he could do, but from all the signs I’m seeing with my bloke, he’s come back in very good order.”
Epaulette may not have raced since their Slipper failure but they did catch the eye in a winning barrier trial over 900m at Rosehill on August 21 which proved their fitness, McEvoy also aboard for that hitout.
“His trial was good,” McEvoy said.
“The winkers go on this Saturday and I’m looking forward to getting back on him.”
McEvoy is also sure that the horse will continue to improve as they step up in distance this campaign, their first major assignment being the $1 million Group 1 AAMI Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) back at Rosehill on Saturday September 15.
“He’ll be better over 1400 metres or the mile but he’s fresh and well,” the Darley jockey said.
Latest Golden Rose odds have All Too Hard as the pronounced $2.40 favourite, Pierro an unlikely acceptor.
Epaulette meanwhile is rated a $12 Golden Rose chance, a price that is sure to firm should they score an upset on Saturday.
Whether you are backing the favourite Pierro on Saturday, or fancy Epaulette to improve and win the Golden Rose next month, all your betting needs are covered online at bookmaker.com.au.
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