Chris Waller’s rock-hard fit three-year-old Japonisme will stake his Golden Rose 2015 claims for next month’s Group 1 when he jumps favourite in the traditional lead-up race at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Waller will saddle-up the first two in betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for Sydney’s feature race on Saturday, the $175,000 Group 2 The Run To The Rose (1200m) attracting 10 early entries.
The Run To The Rose results will go a long way to determining the betting markets for the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) back at the track on September 12.
Previously holding only Group 3 status until its upgrade, The Run To The Rose has produced the past three Golden Rose winners including Hallowed Crown (2014) who won the double last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
This year’s all-in Golden Rose odds are led by Gai Waterhouse’s top colt Vancouver ($3) who suffered his first loss first-up in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1200m).
Jockey Tommy Berry said the ‘real’ Vancouver would be seen when the galloper was stepped up in distance, and Waterhouse has opted not to run in this weekend instead trialling next week before going straight into the Golden Rose field next start.
Japonisme won the San Domenico Stakes in an upset and now occupies the second line of futures Golden Rose betting at a current quote of $6, the Choisir gelding having won his past four starts on the trot.
He boasts an imposing Rosehill race record of three wins from four starts that he is well-liked to continue this weekend shooting for back-to-back Group wins at the track.
Waller knows he has a smart horse on his hands, but isn’t getting too ahead of himself re: the Golden Rose, needing to see first how Japonisme handles a Group 2 field over the 1200m on Saturday.
“We know Japonisme is a really good sprinter over 1100 metres but he has to go up in distance in this class,” Waller told AAP.
“He has to show he can to run in the Golden Rose.”
Waller’s other The Run To The Rose hopeful and the $10 third elect to take out the Golden Rose is proven Group 1 winner Press Statement.
The undefeated Hinchinbrook colt has won all three of his career starts to date including the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) over the mile in Brisbane at Doomben last time out on June 6.
He has won his only other Rosehill run over 1350m leading into the JJ Atkins and has twice trialled since his elite level success, most recently crossing fourth to Exosphere over 809m at Warwick Farm on August 14.
While proven in better company, the concern with Press Statement’s first-up chances this weekend is the 60kg he will carry under the set weights and penalties conditions of The Run To The Rose as a Group 1 winner.
“Press Statement has had two-and-a-half months away from the track and he has come back stronger,” Waller said.
“He only had a couple of weeks doing nothing and like all young horses he loves stable life and thrives on it.
“The only thing is the weight he has to carry with the four kilo penalty for being a Group One winner.”
Back Waller’s Golden Rose contingent this weekend in the lead-up and at their current juicy early odds for the Group 1 online now at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 bonus bet offer for first time depositing players that quote the code SPRINGBONUS!