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Smart Hawkes Racing colt Remarque will kick off his Golden Rose campaign at Randwick

Tommy Berry is expecting Remarque to put his hand up as a genuine Golden Rose contender when the colt kicks off his three-year-old season in The Rosebud.

Berry won his second Golden Rose last year aboard Hawkes Racing’s Ole Kirk and the high-achieving trainers have another potential Group One candidate this year in Remarque.

While Berry says Ole Kirk and Remarque are different types of horses, he has no doubt the latter has the ability to emulate his former barn mate.

“Ole Kirk was a horse that was always going to improve a lot at three, he wasn’t as developed as this horse as a two-year-old,” Berry said.

“This bloke, we thought he was the right two-year-old to go to a Golden Slipper but in saying that, he has improved.

“He’s had two trials, so that’s a good grounding for where he’s at, and I’ll be disappointed if he’s not very hard to beat on the weekend.”

A son of Snitzel, Remarque signalled his ability with a strong debut win at Rosehill in January but his Slipper campaign was derailed when he suffered an elevated temperature.

He finished fifth at his only other autumn start in the Todman Stakes and Berry is excited to see what the horse is capable of achieving this spring.

“There is no hiding the fact we have always really liked him and we thought he was one of our best two-year-olds,” Berry said.

“He proved that to a certain extent leading into the Slipper over the autumn but then he got a bit crook leading into his last run and had a setback and it knocked him around a bit.

“He’s come back in good order and hopefully he can stamp himself as a good contender for a Golden Rose.”

The Rosebud (1100m) is one of several lead-up races to the Golden Rose (1400m), which is due to be held at Rosehill on September 25.

Saturday’s renewal shapes as an intriguing contest and features Godolphin’s smart youngster Paulele, Gary Portelli’s unbeaten filly Sky Command and Pago Pago Stakes placegetter Mazu for the Snowdens.

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