John O’Shea’s Run To The Rose winner Exosphere is the new 2015 Golden Rose favourite after a mediocre trial from former top fancy Vancouver at Rosehill Gardens on Tuesday morning.
Gai Waterhouse’s Golden Slipper winning colt Vancouver has led early betting on the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) since markets for the September 12 feature first opened at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Medaglia D’Oro three-year-old has begun to ease in his price to win an elite level this season however with cracks showing in his armour.
Undefeated as a juvenile, Vancouver suffered his first loss when resuming in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) on August 15 and crossing over two lengths away fourth to the Chris Waller-trained Japonisme.
Waterhouse then opted to bypass the traditional lead-up to the Group 1, not running her hopeful in last Saturday’s Group 2 The Run To The Rose (1200m), which was won by smart Lonhro colt Exosphere for Godolphin.
Instead Vancouver trialled in the opening heat at Rosehill on Tuesday morning over 1030m with the blinkers on and jockey Tommy Berry in the saddle.
Berry went for the whip in the last 200m after having travelled third back along the rails.
Vancouver failed to respond adequately however and after 2015 Epsom Handicap hopeful Sons Of John ran him down on the straight, the $2.36 million earner crossed for third, one and a half lengths off the Brett Thompson-trained winner Slate On Edge.
The flat effort in the jumpout has the bookies putting value on Vancouver in the pre-field Golden Rose odds, the youngster out from $3.20 to $3.60 and dropping to the second line of betting.
Berry admitted soon after that the trial from Vancouver was “disappointing” and was at a loss as to why he had run so one-paced.
“He was one-paced,” Berry told Racenet.
“He felt fine, I don’t know what to make of it.
“It’s a bit of a mystery.”
He remains hopeful the horse can turn it around for the Golden Rose Saturday week with a big of Waterhouse magic, Berry shooting for his second win in the classic following his winning ride on Epaulette (2012) for Peter Snowden three years ago.
“He’s never been the greatest trial horse,” he said.
“Sure, I’d have liked to see him trial better but if anyone can turn him around, Gai Waterhouse can.
“Gai is a genius so I won’t be underestimating her on Saturday week.”
Exosphere, who showed his Golden Slipper failure (16th of 16) back in March was just a bad day on the track with his Run To The Rose victory, meanwhile has moved into $3 favouritism after paying as much as $4.60 yesterday.
After an eye-catching second in the Run To The Rose first-up, Waller’s Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) winner Press Statement and the Mick Price-trained Ready For Victory who ran second in the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes (1200m) in Melbourne last Saturday are the other two single figure Rose fancies.
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