The famous Gooree Stud is well positioned to claim consecutive Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes with Speak Fondly this Saturday at Rosehill. The only filly in the field of nine, if successful, Speak Fondly will be the first filly to salute since Forensics took out the 2008 edition. The daughter of Northern Meteor, who also sired 2013’s winner Zoustar, is $4.50 and on the third line of betting in initial markets behind Press Statement ($3.60) and early favourite Exosphere ($3.60). Exosphere is one of three runners in the race for the mighty Godolphin Stable who boast two previous winner of this race – Epaulette (2012) and Denman (2009) when under the Darley banner.
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1. PRESS STATEMENT – T Angland (3)
He had to get going in the run a little earlier than what would’ve been ideal to ensure he kept race favourite Japonisme on his inside when resuming in the G2 Run To The Roses (1200m). In doing so, he provided the perfect trail for Exosphere who got the better of him the final 100m, winning by 1.3 lengths. Can easily turn the tables here, especially with what shapes up as a sweet run from gate three.
2. EXOSPHERE – J McDonald (2)
Made it three wins from five starts with an impressive effort in the G2 Run To The Roses (1200m) a fortnight ago, his first run since finishing last in this year’s Golden Slipper back in April. That and his debut effort, November last year, where he also finished last, are the only blots on his resume to date and coincidentally – his only two starts on Good rated tracks. Will get back in the run and be giving them a start but always shown great ability and hard off of his first up performance, not seeing him running another bold race here.
3. GOLD SYMPHONY – T Berry (1)
Peter Moody trained galloper who has toughed it out well his last two starts to claim the G3 Vain Stakes (1100m) and G3 McNeil Stakes (1200m), defeating Top Me Up and Ready For Victory – who ran fourth in the Golden Slipper, respectively. First go 1400m and the Sydney way be in regard to the latter, has drawn perfectly on the rails which will be of great assistance. Honest type who has earned his spot in this race and represents a value option for multiples given the likelihood of a good run from inside.
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4. RAGESSE – B Avdulla (9)
He was last and widest when the field turned for home in the Listed Rosebud (1200m) early last month and despite moving up strongly to the leading group at the 200m, wasn’t able to go on with it, finishing fourth (2.2 lengths) behind Sebring Sun and Voilier. Taken to Wyong for his only run since and broke his Maiden status as expected, winning by 1.8 lengths after getting a lovely run throughout. Did run a close second to Pride Of Dubai in the G1 Sire’s Produce (1400m) last time in but not sure either run this prep gives the indication he’s near that kind of form at the moment – especially when considering his wide draw.
5. SHARDS – J Moreira (6)
Continued to improve over a winter break and returned a winner, claiming the recent G3 Up and Coming Stakes (1300m) at his first run in eleven weeks. Found a nice spot in the run and finished strongly, claiming the consistent Voilier in the final stages to record a long neck win. Form out of the race is solid without being outstanding and he’ll have to improve again to be winning here but is developing nicely and not without some hope.
6. SEBRING SUN – J Cassidy (7)
The Gary Portelli trained galloper backed up an impressive first up win at a mid-week meeting at Canterbury with another, claiming the Listed Rosebud in strong fashion from Voilier and Let’s Make It Rain. Started favourite to make it three in a row when stepping out in the G3 Up And Coming Stakes but just got a bit too far back in a solidly run race and under 58.5kgs, couldn’t quite pick up the leaders and finished third (1.7 lengths) behind Shards and Voilier. Going well but this is a step up and again and will need to be at his very best.
7. LET’S MAKE IT RAIN – T Clark (8)
Gave a cheeky effort and was only caught inside of the last 100m when third (1.1 lengths) to Sebring Sun in the Listed Rosebud before another honest performance, finishing second to Wudang Mountain who he again made produce his best in the run to the line. Not initially heading to this race but after nominations were announced, trainer Ron Quinton reconsidered and thought a shot at G1 was worth it for his galloper. Would think he’d have to go forward from his wide gate but if so, it is hard seeing him hold off some of the quality challengers late.
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8. HOLLER – S Clipperton (5)
The of Commands has only had two well-spaced runs since he made his debut back in January of this year, the most recent of the pair coming in last fortnight’s Run To The Roses (1200m) where he finished third (1.8 lengths) to Exosphere and Press Statement. Fitter again but so will be the two he met last time out and the beaten margin from the race is too great a deficit for him to turn around. Place chance at best.
9. SPEAK FONDLY – B Prebble (4) 54.5kgs
The only filly in the race, she has produced two dominant efforts from as many starts this campaign, winning the Silver Shadow (1200m) and last week’s Furious Stakes (1200m) by a combined 4.3 lengths. She has been very strong late in each event and the 1400m, which she tackles for the first time, and taking on the boys, will hold no fears for the Gai Waterhouse trained galloper. From gate four she’ll settle in the box seat from the jump and give the boys plenty to chance home in the straight in the straight.
RACE OVERVIEW –
As the market suggests, think there’s only three genuine chances in this year’s race but going with Press Statement to turn the tables on Exosphere. Think he’ll be in the box seat throughout from gate three and for mine, had to do a bit more work than Exosphere in the Run To The Roses which told late. Exosphere has always had good wraps on him and he looks set to live up to that potential this campaign judging by his first up win. Only a small field but from gate two, he’ll have to give his two main rivals a start at the top of the straight. Speak Fondly has dominated the fillies in two runs back and will give the boys plenty to think about as well.
1. PRESS STATEMENT
3. SPEAK FONDLY