Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Three-year-old colt Ole Kirk has managed to upstage talented Queenslander Rothfire in the running of Saturday’s Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.
Rothfire, who claimed his first Group 1 back in June in the J.J. Atkins at Eagle Farm, was installed as the odds-on favourite with bookmakers after winning last fortnight’s Group 2 Run to the Rose (1200m) first-up.
Punters came in droves for Robert Heathcote’s speedy gelding backing him into as short as $1.60, only to be left disappointed as the Hawkes-trained Ole Kirk upstaged the favourite.
Rothfire led from the gates, but seemed to spend too much petrol to establish the front spot from the equally aggressive Mamaragan in the early stages.
Ole Kirk, meanwhile, found himself with plenty of work to do with traffic in front, right before jockey Tommy Berry found a split coming off the fence to run Rothfire down.
The son of Written Tycoon was having his second run back from a spell on Saturday after finishing runner-up to the Queenslander in the Run to the Rose.
After showing plenty of fight over a similar trip back in the Autumn, plenty of savvy punters managed to cash-in with a very cool $7.00 on offer.
“With the hype on these horses. If you go back and look at Ole’s record it is absolutely outstanding.
“He’s a stakes winner. King’s Legacy beat him ¾ length. He’s just got better” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said after the race.
“I said to Neil Werrett before the first run, that the horse was going very good. As good as he’s ever gone. He’s from the All Too Hard, Black Caviar family – it just doesn’t get any better. He is going to excel further. Look out Caulfield Guineas.”
Berry won the Golden Rose with Epaulette under Peter Snowden back in 2013, while co-trainer John Hawkes also won the race way back in 2006 with Paratroopers.
North Pacific again put in a brave performance for second and at one point looked a chance at winning fighting toe-to-toe with Ole Kirk.
Rothfire, meanwhile, simply ran out of fight over the final 200m to miss a place.
“He travelled a bit too strong outside the leader so I ended up taking it up myself. He got soft sections but as soon as we went over the line he felt a bit lame. Need to see what the vet says,” beaten jockey Jim Byrne said.
After exploding late, Ole Kirk could want further now as the Hawkes team could potentially target $2 million Caulfield Guineas over the mile in two weeks’ time.
Ole Kirk remains on the second line of betting at $7.00 behind the favourite Mo’unga.
Ladbrokes’ complete Caulfield Guineas market can be viewed here.
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