The Godolphin-raced Astern will bypass an early spring run in the Golden Rose with trainer John O’Shea focusing on the Coolmore Stud Stakes 2016 in Melbourne over a sprint distance later in the season.
A nicely-bred Medaglia D’Oro colt, to date Astern has won three of his four career runs including two in Group company.
He took out the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) in February but failed to impress in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) the following month crossing seven lengths away 11th to the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained winner Capitalist.
Astern returned to winning form in early April at Randwick during ‘The Championships’ posting a dead heat win with El Divino as the favourite in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m).
Golden Slipper winner Capitalist and runner-up Yankee Rose, who went on to win the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) for her trainer David Vandyke, are likely to clash again on September 10 in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
O’Shea though is happy to skip the race with his rising three-year-old Astern and instead focus on a sprint campaign culminating at Flemington Racecourse on Victoria Derby Day, October 29, in the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
“I think he is more effective at 1200m, I don’t think he is a 1400m horse,” O’Shea, who is yet to prepare a Coolmore Stud Stakes winner, told Racing Victoria.
“His main aim will be the Coolmore Stud Stakes, how we get there I’m not quite sure at this stage but he is coming along nicely.”
Astern is back at Godolphin’s private Agnes Banks property working towards his spring return along with stablemate Telperion, another two-year-old star for the stable during the autumn.
The Street Cry colt has just one win from five starts so far taking out the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Randwick in mid-February, but more than impressed with brave Group 1 runs later during his juvenile campaign.
A fourth in the Golden Slipper as a $31 roughie was followed by Telperion’s smart second in the ATC Sires’ Produce last time out, putting a rematch with his two most recent conquerors Capitalist and Yankee Rose on the cards for him in the 2016 Golden Rose Stakes.
O’Shea chases back-to-back Golden Rose victories following the success of by his Run To The Rose winner Exosphere (2015) last year.
Telperion could also continue south after the Golden Rose targeting the following month’s $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8 in Melbourne.
Despite O’Shea all but ruling out the Golden Rose for Astern, the horse remains dominant in early betting at bookies around the country paying around $11 in markets led by Capitalist ($5) and Yankee Rose ($6.50).
Telperion is at $13 for the Golden Rose Stakes and pays $21 in all-in Caulfield Guineas odds that also have Capitalist ($5) on top and unlikely runner Astern at $34.
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