Group 1 Golden Rose: Preview and tips

Cameron Rose Columnist

By , Cameron Rose is a Roar Expert

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    The Golden Rose has become the marquee race of the Sydney spring carnival, which is quite the achievement given it has been a Group 1 for less than a decade.

    None of the last four winners were seen after their three-year-old season, as they were all whisked off to stud. Zoustar went on to win the Coolmore Stud Stakes and Hallowed Crown the Randwick Guineas, while Exosphere and Astern came to VRC Derby day as hot favourites but flopped (not unusual for Godolphin horses in Melbourne).

    Menari is the powerfully built boom colt of the season, and will take his place as hot favourite accordingly.

    He dominated the Run to the Rose camped behind the leader Perast, and gave nothing else a chance in recording a comfortable win. He looks twice as big as any other horse in his races, and his lovely strong action is always going to take some beating.

    Pariah ran second to Menari on that day, but if you switch the runs you probably swap results. The two colts ran almost identical sectionals for the last 200m, 400m and 600m, and position in running was the deciding factor on the day.

    Given Menari has drawn 11 and Pariah has drawn 12, it will be fascinating to see what actions Josh Parr and Blake Shinn take in the early stages. These two do look the standouts, at least of the Sydney colts form, and it’s hard to see any that finished behind them in the Run to the Rose beating both.

    The Stan Fox Stakes, won by Gold Standard, is the other key lead up to the Golden Rose. While the Run to the Rose was over 1200m, the Stan Fox is over 1500m, so the runners in it have had good grounding for this 1400m race.

    Similar to Menari on the same day, Gold Standard sat on the speed behind The Mission, who made an early race move to take the lead, and was simply too good for his rivals. He’s already had four runs this prep, and there will be no fitter horse in the race. Tommy Berry will certainly push forward from barrier ten on him.

    Dracarys beat Gold Standard in the Up andamp; Coming Stakes a month ago, and hasn’t been seen since. He won fair and square that day, in a battle down the straight, and the two of them cleared away from the others. He can settle in a midfield position and will need to get a clean run at them from barrier one.

    Assimilate claimed the scalp of Dracarys back in July, and is another that looks a nice each-way play as the value of the race. He’ll go back to the tail and have the last crack at them, and if the two favourites get unlucky or caught in a speed battle, he will be the one coming over the top.

    Two fillies are in the race, Formality and Champagne Cuddles. They’ve met twice this prep with Formality holding a 2-0 lead, albeit by only a combined half length.

    Formality will go forward from a wide barrier, while Champagne Cuddles is best ridden colder from a middle gate. Both can provide more than nuisance value if things go their way.

    Merchant Navy isn’t the lone Victorian in the field, given Formality is trained out of Euroa by team Hayes, but he is the only horse to have done his racing in Melbourne in the lead up.

    He hasn’t done a thing wrong in his career to date, winning four from four, but the query remains about the quality of horse he’s been beating. He’s versatile, and should have no excuses from an inside draw, with Mark Zahra in hot enough form to give him every chance.

    There are a handful of horses that can be prominent, and there is a clear case for a hot early tempo. Whichever horse wins this race, the jockey will have ridden a peach to get his mount across the line first.

    Selections: 1.Pariah 2.Menari 3.Assimilate 4.Champagne Cuddles

    The Golden Pendant is the main support race on the Golden Rose card, with Sydney’s best sprinter-miler mares taking each other on over 1400m.

    Seven of the 11 runners come through the Sheraco, which was won by a horse that isn’t here, Ravi.

    About a length covered five of the mares that ran in that race and are in this event – Daysee Doom, Magic Alibi, Bonny O’Reilly, Omei Sword, and Danish Twist.

    Omei Sword is always in the market and usually favourite, but hasn’t won for over a year. It’s time for her to deliver without excuses.

    Daysee Doom was the obvious eye-catcher from the Sheraco from quieter ride than usual. She may do the same again from a wide barrier and hope for a genuine tempo.

    Bonny O’Reilly is a good horse with a superior winning record, and she should enjoy a much softer time of it this time around from a cosy barrier. Her honesty will ensure she’s right there when the race is being won.

    Danish Twist is a long time between drinks for a horse in single figures, and her record at Rosehill doesn’t inspire confidence.

    Dixie Blossoms is the best horse in the race, and is most suited under the set weights penalties format. She has shown her versatility in the past, and can sit anywhere in the run, but if ridden with cover can unleash a devastating sprint.

    This will be another race where early tactics are key, and a horse like Sweet Redemption could sneak away with the race if she’s allowed to dictate in front.

    Selections: 1.Daysee Doom 2.Dixie Blossoms 3.Omei Sword 4.Bonny O’Reilly

    Cameron Rose
    Cameron Rose

    Cameron Rose is a born and bred Melbournian, raised on a regime of AFL, cricket and horse racing. He likes people who agree with him but loves those that don't, for there's nothing better than a roaring debate. He tweets from @camtherose.