Unbeaten colt Smart Missile has retained a strong grip on Golden Rose favouritism after the barrier draw for the $1 million race.
Smart Missile drew gate five in the six-horse field – the first Group One event of the Australian racing season to be run at Rosehill on Saturday.
The winner of his three starts, including the Run To The Rose at his most recent outing, Smart Missile heads Golden Rose betting at $1.75.
The Anthony Cummings-trained galloper is a clear favourite over Helmet ($4.60) who drew barrier four.
Foxwedge, who was narrowly beaten by Smart Missile in the Run To The Rose, has drawn barrier one with the $41 outsider Flight Of Pegasus in gate two.
Manawanui, whose connections paid a $50,000 late entry fee to have him included in the field, will start from barrier three.
Aeronautical will line up from the outside stall.
Smart Missile’s jockey Glen Boss said the Golden Rose shaped as a two-horse race.
“I’m very, very wary of Helmet,” Boss said.
“To do what he did in the autumn and win those Group Ones was just outstanding.
“Hopefully it will be me (on Smart Missile) and Helmet and Macca (jockey Kerrin McEvoy) going toe to toe down to the finish line and the best horse wins.”