Three Godolphin-raced colts will do battle in an unavoidable 2014 The Run To The Rose clash at Randwick on Saturday ahead of the spring three-year-old majors.
Trainer John O’Shea is forced to run all three of the stable’s top youngsters against each other on Saturday with Ghibellines, Sarajevo and Kumaon to accept for the $125,000 Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m).
“All three have to run, we have to get them started,” O’Shea confirmed to The Daily Telegraph this week.
The race attracted 13 at nomination stage on Monday and serves as the traditional lead-up to the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13.
“I’m hoping they run well enough to secure starts in the Golden Rose,” O’Shea added.
Futures Golden Rose odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Almalad installed as the $6 favourite, Gai Waterhouse’s Group 1 JJ Atkins winner also among the exciting The Run To The Rose nominations for this weekend.
Of O’Shea’s trio the shortest priced in the early Golden Rose betting markets is Sarajevo ($11).
Ghibellines follows on $15 while Kumaon is the $41 roughie of the stablemates.
Lonhro colt Sarajevo debuted with a win at Randwick’s Kensington track back in April before returning on August 9 to run a close fourth after being blocked for a run in the straight in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m).
That luckless run behind subsequent Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes winner Scissor Kick is one O’Shea is hoping he can improve on this weekend when stepped up in distance against another classy field of ace Sydney youngsters.
“Sydney looks to have a stellar bunch of young three-year-old colts,” the trainer said.
“It’s a whole new ball game again in The Run To The Rose with the addition of Almalad and Brazen Beau.
“But anyone who saw Sarajevo the other day will realise he was open to a significant amount of improvement.”
Shamardal colt Ghibellines meanwhile is already Group 1 performed having run eighth on a mud Rosehill track behind ace filly Mossfun in the Golden Slipper (1200m) on April 5.
That came on the back of his smart win over Unencumbered in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) in March, Ghibellines having trialed when second over 795mg at Warwick Farm on August 15.
“This is the race we always had pencilled in for Ghibellines to return,” O’Shea said.
That’s not the case for Kumaon however who was scratched from the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) last week due to the wet Randwick course.
Also a Group 1 performer, the son of Lonhro has twice raced in elite level company as a juvenile.
A Rosehill winner over 1100m on debut last December, Kumaon ran second to Time For War on a Heavy (9) track in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) before his opening Group 1 assignment when sixth to Peggy Jean in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
At his latest start he was stepped up to a mile for a shot at the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) when just over a length away third to Go Indy Go in an excellent run from the inside alley.
All three colts are also nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne on October 11.
They sit in the same order in Caulfield Guineas betting at Ladbrokes.com.au that they do for the Rose with Sarajevo ($15) the best fancied over Ghibellines ($17) and Kumaon ($26).
O’Shea also had two top three-year-olds run last weekend with Meursault finishing sixth in the Up And Coming Stakes and Thousand Guineas-bound Street Cry filly Memorial runner-up behind Golden Slipper placegetter Bring Me The Maid in the Silver Shadow Stakes.
“Meursault didn’t take any harm from those bumps he copped — it just bumped his ego a bit,” O’Shea said, adding both had come through the runs well.
The stable also scratched their Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Earthquake from the Silver Shadow due to the Heavy track, O’Shea saying a Warwick Farm trial on Friday was likely.
“I’d like to run her in the Furious Stakes and then go to the Tea Rose Stakes and make a decision after that which way we go with her,” he said.
The $175,000 Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) runs at Randwick on September 6 followed by the $175,000 Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) back at the track a fortnight later.
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