After an official withdrawal from the HDF McNeil Stakes in Melbourne, the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Nostradamus is firming in the markets to win Sydney’s The Run To The Rose 2014today.
Originally the Medaglia D’Oro colt was a dual acceptor across two states for today, but connections have now confirmed the progressive youngster for the $125,000 Group 3 MTA NSW Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Earlier in the week it looked like the firmer track at Caulfield would be the shot for the three-year-old who is well-liked in the futures markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for both the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1200m) next month in Sydney as well as the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne on October 11.
Rosehill is still rated a Heavy (8) but Team Hawkes are willing to risk it with Nostradamus to take on Gai Waterhouse’s 2014 Golden Rose favourite and Group 1 winner Almalad in The Run To The Rose.
When The Run To The Rose odds opened at the start of the week undefeated Al Maher gelding Almalad, last seen winning the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 14, paid $3.80 to win – a price that has remained steady.
Second pick in the markets at $6 was then JJ Atkins runner-up Brazen Beau.
Chris Waller’s Group 2 winning I Am Invincible colt however is one of two notable scratchings from The Run To The Rose field along with the John O’Shea-trained Ghibellines who was also to resume in the set weights plus penalties showdown.
New second favourite and The Run To The Rose betting market mover in from $6 to $4 is then Nostradamus drawn in gate two with Brenton Avdulla to ride.
Seventh to star filly Earthquake in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) as a juvenile in the autumn, Nostradamus returned to racing at Rosehill a fortnight ago and caught the eye first-up with a three quarter length win over Washington Heights in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m).
He now looks to go back-to-back at the track ahead of some tougher assignments and is well fancied to do so despite not having raced on anything worse than Dead ground to date.
While Waterhouse is hyping up the chances of Almalad first-up, race fitness could give Nostradamus the upper hand according to the form experts and co-trainer Michael Hawkes.
“He’s had the one run back and that’s important when racing on a heavy track,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
Also at single figures and firming are then the James & Bart Cummings-rained Hallowed Crown ($7.50 into $5) and Sarajevo ($7 into $6).
Hallowed Crown is another undefeated youngster having won both his autumn runs including the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes over this distance at Randwick in the mud, the Street Sense colt to relish another rain-affected track here.
Sarajevo then is one of two remaining hopes in the race for O’Shea, along with Group 1 Champagne Stakes third placegetter Kumaon ($15).
Drawn in the outside gate, now 10, with James McDonald in the saddle Sarajevo comes off a first-up fourth behind Scissor Kick in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Randwick that he’ll be out to improve on here.
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