A smart win in the Run To The Rose last Saturday has pushed the John O’Shea-trained Astern to the top of the pre-field Golden Rose Stakes 2016 odds for Saturday week’s Group 1 classic in Sydney.
Over the weekend jockey James McDonald guided the Godolphin-raced Medaglia D’Oro colt to a narrow long-neck win over the short-priced favourite Star Turn in the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m).
It was Astern’s three-year-old debut and his first start since he beat home El Divino in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick back on April 2 as a juvenile.
O’Shea was thrilled with the Group 2 success first-up and confirmed it was all systems go for Astern to run second-up at Rosehill Gardens on September 10 in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m).
The only question is how the youngster will handle the 1400m, but the bookmakers are taking no chances.
“If he can run 1400m, he’s got a good chance in the Golden Rose,” winning hoop McDonald said.
Astern has been elevated to top spot in early Golden Rose Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au now paying $4.40 to hand O’Shea back-to-back wins in the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival classic.
Last season O’Shea won the Golden Rose Stakes with Exosphere who came off a Run To The Rose victory.
That was the second time in as many years the Run To The Rose – Golden Rose Stakes double was completed, Hallowed Crown (2014) winning both races the previous spring.
The Run To The Rose also produced Zoustar (fourth in 2013) and Epaulette (third in 2012) for their respective Golden Rose victories, form the bookmakers are tipping Astern to frank again this spring.
McDonald also chases his second Golden Rose win on the trot after riding Exosphere to victory last season, and was full of post-Run To The Rose victory praise for Astern.
“He’s a very good horse,” he told Racenet on Saturday.
“He switched off beautifully today, really good.
“He’s a different animal to what he was at two both physically and mentally.
“I thought he was the real deal as a two-year-old and I think he’s even more the real deal now.
“He’s the king of the castle.”
Occupying the second line of Golden Rose Stakes betting is the Team Hawkes-trained Up & Coming Stakes winner Divine Prophet ($6.50) followed by Chris Waller’s Silver Shadow Stakes winning filly Omei Sword ($7.50) and the beaten Run To The Rose favourite Star Turn ($8.50).
Back your early Golden Rose Stakes 2016 selections online now at Ladbrokes.com.au before the markets firm with the release of the final field on September 7.