ear-olds set weights, 1400m
First held in 2003, it didn’t take long for the race’s importance to be recognised with elevation to Group One status in 2009.
Five of the past six renewals have been won by colts including Hallowed Crown last year. Forensics in 2008 is the only filly to have won. Her victory came in the autumn after the 2007 Sydney spring was called off because of equine influenza.
THIS YEAR’S FIELD
A small but select field of nine headed by Press Statement, the only Group One winner in the race.
Godolphin will start three runners – favourite Exosphere, Shards and Holler.
Early favourite Vancouver is missing after connections decided to pull the plug on his spring campaign but Gai Waterhouse still has a chance to win with Speak Fondly who backs up from a dominant Furious Stakes win over the fillies.
“His first-up run was perfect, he was finishing off strongly and obviously the further distance is going to suit him,” jockey Tye Angland said of second favourite Press Statement.
“It’s probably been a case of the best filly each year never going around in it because there are so many options for them through the Princess Series,” Gai Waterhouse’s stable representative Mark Newnham on Golden Rose record of fillies.
“It looks like he is a horse who is going to get better once he gets to 1400 (metres) and even a mile and he’s going to get that on Saturday,” said Tommy Berry, rider of Victorian raider Gold Symphony.
THE EARLY MONEY
Brett Prebble travels from Hong Kong to ride Speak Fondly who has been well-supported since Waterhouse confirmed the filly would back-up.
Exosphere has drifted slightly but remains favourite at $3 while Press Statement is solid at $3.50. Sebring Sun has had specking at double figure odds.
Hallowed Crown claimed the Run To The Rose-Golden Rose double last year while Zoustar finished fourth in the same lead-up race before taking out the Group One.
Toorak Toff in 2010 is the only Victorian-trained horse to win.