Hong Kong champion Joao Moreira will ride Golden Rose favourite Omei Sword as she attempts to become the first filly to win the race since it was elevated to Group One status seven years ago.
After drawing barrier three, the Chris Waller-trained filly assumed $3.20 favouritism for Saturday’s $1 million feature over 1400 metres at Rosehill.
Godolphin colt Astern drifted to $3.80 second pick after drawing gate 12.
Astern was an impressive last-start winner of the Run To The Rose, the lead-up race for the past four Golden Rose winners.
“We’ve won this race from wide draws before and the way Astern is progressing in this preparation he can overcome it,” Godolphin Australia managing director Henry Plumptre said.
Epaulette won the 2012 Golden Rose from barrier eight in a 10-horse field and Astern will only have two horses outside him if all 14 runners start in this year’s race.
“We have Guineas aspirations for this colt later in the spring, so this trip shouldn’t present a problem,” Plumptre said.
Godolphin will also have Run To The Rose placegetter Impending in the race and he will jump from inside Omei Sword.
“He has the pedigree that says he’ll run seven furlongs at Group One level,” Plumptre said.
“I really feel we have the best two colts in the race.
“The draw for Astern could be better, but it is far from a disaster.”
Hawkes Racing-trained Divine Prophet ($4.60) has drawn barrier 10 and comes into the race off a devastating last-to-first Up And Coming Stakes win on August 20.
Australian jockey Zac Purton will also travel from Hong Kong to ride ATC Sires’ Produce winner Yankee Rose.
Yankee Rose had been the subject of concern about her fitness until a raceday gallop at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday convinced trainer David Vandyke she was ready to race.
Yankee Rose and Up And Coming Stakes runner-up Derryn are $11 chances.
Star jockey Hugh Bowman will be after his fifth Golden Rose victory on the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained El Divino.
The colt is a half-brother to champion mare Winx and is rated a $15 hope to win Saturday’s race.
Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden will apply winkers to Mediterranean, while James Cummings believes the 1400m will be in Good Standing’s favour.
“We’re really happy about the weather at the moment because he’s been looking for a firmer track,” Cummings said.
“The blinkers importantly go on for Saturday which will sharpen him up.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au