The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Group 1 runner-up Rageese has opened clear favourite to win his opening race as a three-year-old with a first-up victory in Saturday’s The Rosebud 2015 at Royal Randwick.
The Street Cry colt is one of eight three-year-olds making up the field for Randwick Race 4 at 2:15pm (AEST) on Missile Stakes Day, the $100,000 Listed The Rosebud (1200m) run under quality handicap conditions.
Drawn in barrier five with top hoop Tommy Berry booked for the ride, the Team Hawkes-trained maiden is yet to win a race in his three previous runs but has form against some of the best of his crop.
After a sixth on debut last November he ran first-up in mid-March and crossed second behind Tarquin in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) before another second this time behind Pride Of Dubai in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 6.
He trialled in the lead-up to Saturday’s return at Rosehill over 900m on a Heavy (9) and won, showing he was ready for a strong spring starting this weekend.
The bookies are taking no chances with the youngster who heads towards a run in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12.
Early Golden Rose odds at Ladbrokes are led by Gai Waterhouse’s Golden Slipper winner Vancouver ($3.20) while Saturday’s The Rosebud favourite Rageese is a $17 shot for the Group 1 next month and pays a short $2.70 for the weekend.
Following the Sires’ Produce runner-up in The Rosebud betting markets are five other single figure hopes making for a competitive showdown.
The market mover and $4 second elect – backed in from $4.40 – is the Gary Portelli-trained Sebring Sun who jumps one inside the favourite from barrier four with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle.
The Sebring colt has his sixth start on Saturday and comes off a first-up victory at Canterbury over 1200m where Hugh Bowman had the ride from barrier 13 (of 13) carrying 59.5kg.
Sebring Sun will appreciate the smaller field, better barrier and the drop back to the 54kg minimum this weekend as he steps back up into black-type company for the first time since his fifth to Exosphere in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm back in late February.
The next best fancied are then the Chris Waller-trained Encosta De Lago colt Vanbrugh ($6) and Ron Quinton’s last start winner Let’s Make It Rain ($7.50).
Vanbrugh hasn’t won a race since his success on debut at Randwick in February, after which he ran fifth in the Pago Pago before a spell.
This time in he ran second first-up in the wet at Rosehill and then crossed fifth to fellow The Rosebud rival Let’s Make It Rain last time out on July 25 at Canterbury over 1250m, the winner of that race shooting for back-to-back victories in his first black-type assignment.
The last of the hopes under $10 for the win are then the rails-drawn Tatoosh ($8) for Newcastle’s Paul Perry who ran second to Let’s Make It Rain last time out and the Gary Nickson-trained Voilier ($8.50) drawn one wider in gate two with Tye Angland to ride on the back of a second behind Waller’s form youngster Japonisme.
The Rosebud field and markets are then rounded out by outside hopes Zoutenant ($26) and the $61 roughie of the lot Can Be Bossy.
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