Roses are blooming at the Ellerton-Zahra stable but the jury is out whether there will be one or two lining up in next month’s Thousand Guineas at Caulfield.
Sharnee Rose staked her claim for the Group One feature when she finished second to Thousand Guineas favourite Atlantic Jewel last week at Moonee Valley while Jessica Rose gets her chance to impress in Saturday’s Group Three Prelude for fillies (1400m) at Caulfield.
Jessica Rose dropped out of favour two weeks ago when she didn’t get warm against the boys in the Henry Bucks Best Dressed (1400m) at Flemington but the stable is hopeful that she can bounce back.
“We don’t know what to make of the other day,” co-trainer Simon Zahra said.
“It was a pretty hot race and she probably got a bit further back than we thought and maybe she just didn’t like being inside as she was awkwardly placed, four back the fence.”
Zahra takes some hope from the fact that Jessica Rose has drawn near the outside in barrier 16 and won’t face a similar scenario this time.
“She will be out of trouble and she is also back against the girls so who knows what she might do,” Zahra said.
“She has also been to Caulfield three times and run well each time so maybe she just isn’t a Flemington horse.”
Jessica Rose’s Caulfield record includes a debut win in December and fifths in the Blue Diamond Preview and Prelude races for fillies in the autumn.
Jessica Rose’s form lapse is particularly disappointing as she had been considered a better prospect than Sharnee Rose as a juvenile.
“Early days Jessica Rose always had Sharnee Rose covered and now she (Sharnee Rose) is going super,” Zahra said.
As her $41 quote with TAB Sportsbet suggests, Jessica Rose won’t find it easy on Saturday against Celebrity Girl, Mosheen and Hallowell Belle who are all pressing Celebrity Girl’s stablemate Atlantic Jewel for favouritism in the Guineas (1600m).
Michael Rodd will ride Celebrity Girl who he believes will learn to relax more as she gains experience.
“With Atlantic Jewel you know she’ll get the mile very strongly but Celebrity Girl still has to prove that she’ll do it,” Rodd said.
“She (Celebrity Girl) has got a sprinter mentality and still gets a bit hot under the collar before a race.
“On Saturday she’ll bounce out and be up on the speed and we’ll be looking for her to run well so that we can have confidence in her going into the mile.”