The powerhouse Godolphin stable head into next month’s Golden Rose with a genuine winning hope in Exosphere after the John O’Shea-trained three-year-old scored the upset in The Run To The Rose 2015 at Rosehill Gardens.
The feature Sydney race of the weekend, this year’s $175,000 Group 2 MTA NSW Run To The Rose (1200m) saw just five three-year-olds line up after the early scratching of Mr Optimistic and Raphael’s Cat.
Race favourite at a short even money price of $2 at the jump was the Chris Waller-trained Japonisme who vied for his fifth consecutive win.
The magic run of the San Domenico Stakes winner though came to an end with Japonisme beating home just one other runner crossing two and a half lengths away fourth to the exciting winner.
The favourite jumped away from the gates well as did O’Shea’s other runner Holler, who also cemented his spot in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) back at the track on September 12 with a brave run in third beaten under two lengths despite a setback leading up to the showdown.
Nicely-bred Lonhro colt Exosphere racing first-up since his Golden Slipper failure when 16th of 16 runners in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds as an autumn juvenile on March 21 meanwhile took the sit settling last in The Run To The Rose.
Winner of the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm before the Slipper slip-up, Exosphere came into The Run To The Rose off a winning trial at Warwick Farm a fortnight earlier with Sam Clipperton in the saddle.
Clipperton retained the ride aboard the galloper for his resuming run in the Group 2 and took his time, letting the horse relax at the back while eventual last past the post Redzel went to the lead.
Commands colt Holler, having his first run in black-type company, settled into second just ahead of Japonisme who was parked in third just ahead of his Group 1 winning stablemate Press Statement who was racing for the first time since the JJ Atkins win over the Doomben mile in Brisbane.
Going down the side of the course Exosphere was still in last place, O’Shea a little nervous by this stage on the sidelines.
Into the straight Japonisme peeled out three wide while Press Statement began his run in earnest.
The leader was tackled by Holler who raced into the lead before Exosphere charged down the outside along with Press Statement who went after the front runner and never stopped fighting.
In an impressive last to first effort it was Exosphere ($5.50) who claimed the trophy, hitting the lead 50m out from the line getting over the top of Waller’s 60kg top weight Press Statement ($5) who was ultra-impressive first-up beaten only one and a quarter lengths in his brave loss.
Holler ($11) rounded out The Run To The Rose trifecta just a further quarter length back in third, all three set to firm in the futures Golden Rose odds at Ladbrokes.com.au that are led by Gai Waterhouse’s Slipper winner Vancouver.
The returning win of Exosphere proved there were excuses for his Slipper failure where a too-firm track and being at the end of his prep took its toll.
Fresh in The Run To The Rose with the sting out of the track he was explosive, form O’Shea hopes he can hold onto for another shot at an elite level win against his own age.
“He’s a class horse,” O’Shea said.
“The firm ground at the latter part of his prep (were to blame for the Golden Slipper loss).
“Hopefully going forward he can still continue to race well this time.
“He’s grown into his big frame now…imagine him when he gets to race in weight-for-age…I think he’s got a big sprinting future.
“We’ll see him in the Rose in a fortnight.
“We’re really proud of both horses and we might have two or three (in the Golden Rose)”
O’Shea was also full of praise for Clipperton’s ride, the hoop having also won the race before aboard O’Shea’s 2015 The Metropolitan-bound Magic Hurricane in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m).
“Sam’s really come of age and rode a cool race,” he said.
“It was a wonderful team effort.”
To get behind O’Shea’s Golden Rose hopes at the right price including Exosphere who looks to become the fourth horse in as many years to win the Group 1 coming out of The Run To The Rose and the second in as many years to complete the double after Hallowed Crown (2014) did it last year, head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!
2015 The Run To The Rose Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 5 – 29/08/2015
|1||2||EXOSPHERE||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||–||3||59kg||$5.50|
|2||1||PRESS STATEMENT||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||1.3L||5||60kg||$5|
|3||4||HOLLER||John O’Shea||Christian Reith||1.8L||4||56kg||$11|
|4||3||JAPONISME||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2.4L||1||58kg||$2F|
|5||6||REDZEL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tommy Berry||4.5L||2||56kg||$7|
|–||7||MR OPTIMISTIC||Tony Noonan||Joshua Parr||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||RAPHAEL’S CAT||Gai Waterhouse||Adam Hyeronimus||–||0||–||–|