Classy colt Astern put his stamp on the Golden Rose Stakes in a fortnight when he scored a gutsy first up win in the Group 2 $175,000 MTA Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill today.
On an improving Rosehill track that was upgraded from a heavy 9 to a soft 7, James McDonald was able to steer Astern ($6) up along the inside to down race favourite Star Turn ($2.50) by a head with the winner’s stablemate Impending ($8.50) running home nicely to fill third spot.
The John O’Shea trained Astern will now vie for favouritism for the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill in two weeks time.
McDonald had the choice of four runners from the O’Shea stable but decide to stick with Astern in the Run To The Rose after winning on the Medaglia D’Oro colt twice before over the Summer and Autumn.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained El Divino ($8) with Hugh Bowman in the saddle set the pace early but was collared half way down the when Tommy Berry moved up on the Team Hawkes trained Star Turn and looked to be travelling like a winner.
But McDonald was lurking in behind on Astern who responded in great style when he saw daylight back to the inside.
O’Shea said that it was a bonus to have an uninterrupted preparation which really helped Astern to find the winner’s stall for the fourth time.
“He has had a wonderful record,” O’Shea said.
“At this level you just can’t afford to have anything go wrong and you have to draw well and have those lovely James McDonald rides for it all to work.”
O’Shea said that he would confer with McDonald to see if he thought Astern would run a tough 1400m in the Golden Rose Stakes.
“See what Mac says if he is confident about him at seven (1400m). To be fair the very good Hawkes galloper and him cleared out, they look to be two of the chances,” O’Shea said.
“We are very buoyed by the performances of our other runners. Impending looked a little unlucky, might have got a little bit of a squeeze and Tessera ($51) was very good late.
The Run To The Rose Results
|1||1||ASTERN||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||3||58kg||$6|
|2||4||STAR TURN||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||0.2L||5||57kg||$2.50F|
|3||10||IMPENDING||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||3.7L||6||56kg||$8.50|
|4||3||EL DIVINO||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Hugh Bowman||3.8L||1||57kg||$8|
|5||9||MEDITERRANEAN||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||4.2L||9||56kg||$9|
|6||8||NIKITAS||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||4.5L||7||56kg||$51|
|7||5||TESSERA||John O’Shea||Ms Kathy O’Hara||4.8L||4||57kg||$51|
|8||6||MANOLO BLAHNIQ (NZ)||Tony Noonan||Joshua Parr||5.7L||2||57kg||$41|
|9||2||GOOD STANDING||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||6.5L||10||58kg||$21|
|10||11||CELLARMAN||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||6.8L||8||56kg||$61|
|11||7||TELPERION||John O’Shea||Jason Collett||7.4L||11||56kg||$10|
|12||12||GADFLY||Paul Perry||Tim Clark||8.1L||12||56kg||$101|