A Golden Rose field already short on numbers could be further depleted at acceptance time if two outsiders fail to measure up during trackwork on Tuesday morning.
The Australian Turf Club could only muster 10 names on Monday when it released a provisional list for the $1 million race at Rosehill on Saturday.
While numerically the Golden Rose has fallen away, the emphasis is firmly on quality with headline three-year-olds Smart Missile, Helmet, Foxwedge and the late entry Manawanui.
But two horses included on the published nomination list – Ain’t She Grand and the Victorian-trained Delago’s Lad – need to impress on the track to confirm their place in the first Group One event of the Australian racing season.
Ain’t She Grand, quoted at $71 with TAB Sportsbet, is a stablemate of Smart Missile, the unbeaten colt who holds a firm grip on Golden Rose favouritism at $1.90.
“Other than commonsense there is nothing to stop Ain’t She Grand from running,” trainer Anthony Cummings said.
“The guys that own her want her to run but if her trackwork in the morning says she is going to embarrass herself then we won’t go.”
Another Cummings filly, the promising Houston Benefactor, was ruled out of the race on Monday to be saved for the Tea Rose Stakes.
Similarly, Mornington trainer John McArdle will wait until Delago’s Lad, included in markets at $51, gallops on Tuesday before making a Golden Rose call.
“I’ll know for sure after I work him in the morning,” McArdle said.
“I galloped him the Sydney way on Saturday and he seemed happy enough on that leg.
“He’ll do the same in the morning and if he makes me happy again I’ll float him up (to Sydney) on Thursday night.”
McArdle said Corey Brown had been booked for the Golden Rose ride.
“He’s a nice horse … he was right there in the good races down here as a two-year-old,” McArdle said.
“And I thought he was a bit stiff not to run second to Sepoy (in the Vain Stakes).
“He ran into a bit of trouble but then again that’s him.”
Delago’s Lad has also been entered for Saturday’s Melbourne meeting at Moonee Valley.
ATC officials confirmed connections have paid a $50,000 late entry to have Manawanui included in the field.
Golden Rose prize money is paid back to eighth place and a fourth placing would be enough to ensure the Ron Leemon-trained galloper recoups his owners’ gamble.
Acceptances for the only $1 million race of the Sydney spring carnival will be taken at 9am on Tuesday ahead of a barrier draw later in the day.