His jockey has switched camps to ride the favourite but co-trainer James Cummings suggests it would be foolish to write off the chances of Eurozone in the $1 million Golden Rose at Rosehill on Saturday.
Within 24 hours of partnering Eurozone when the colt was beaten for the first time at Rosehill on August 31, Hugh Bowman had secured the Golden Rose ride on Victorian colt Prince Harada.
His move confirmed Prince Harada as a ready-made Golden Rose favourite after Eurozone finished eighth to Va Pensiero in the Run To The Rose.
But Cummings is prepared to see through the hype generated by Prince Harada’s late inclusion in the Group One field to declare Eurozone, to be ridden for the first time by Josh Parr, the forgotten horse of the race.
“The boom is on this Melbourne horse and it provides plenty of interest for the race,” Cummings said.
“But I’ve never laid eyes on him so it’s hard for me to form a solid opinion.”
Cummings is hoping a kinder barrier draw for Eurozone can make a difference.
Eurozone drew off the track in the Run To The Rose and was posted on a limb outside the speed. He will jump from gate two on Saturday.
As the track that day played towards horses on the rails and Eurozone had by far the toughest run in the traditional lead-up race, Cummings said there was enough merit in the effort to have some confidence going into Saturday.
“He’s certainly going to get a much better run than the one he had in the Run To The Rose from the soft draw,” Cummings said.
Eurozone is out to $15 in latest Golden Rose betting with Prince Harada holding favouritism at $4.20 ahead of the David Hayes-trained Fast ‘N’ Rocking ($6).
The race provides Cummings and his grandfather Bart with a chance to relaunch their spring after losing established stable star Norzita to injury.
“I know with our horse that we will get every opportunity to walk away with a better idea of whether he is up to them,” Cummings said.
If he can take a positive step into Group One racing, Cummings says it will auger well for Eurozone’s future.
“The Golden Rose is always a great race as a career-shaper for young horses. Historically, it shapes what happens in future carnivals,” he said.