Japonisme is looking to bring another unbeaten record to a halt when he takes on stable-mate Press Statement in this Saturday’s Group 2 Run To The Rose at Rosehill. At his most recent start, the G3 San Domenico Stakes, Japonisme became the first horse to defeat Golden Slipper winner Vancouver and in the process, continue his meteoric rise through the ranks over the past two months. On Saturday he’ll have Press Statement, unbeaten in three starts including the G1 JJ Atkins Stakes, in his sights with the markets suggesting he will repeat the feat, installing him favourite at $2.60, with Press Statement $5.50 The Godolphin pairing of Exosphere and Holler, both returning from spells, are $5.00 and $6.00 respectively.
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1. PRESS STATEMENT – T Angland (7) 60ks
Scored a Group 1, made it three wins from as many starts, and took his prize-money to just shy of half a million dollars when scoring a 3/4 length win in the JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) at Doomben in June. The Hinchinbrook colt has trialled well in each of his two trials, completing both with plenty in reserve. A very exciting galloper who despite the big weight and wide draw; can keep his perfect record intact here.
2. EXSOPHERE – S Clipperton (5) 59kgs
Shot into Golden Slipper contention with a resounding four length win in the G2 Skyline Stakes and started a $4.80 chance in the Group 1 feature but unfortunately for his supporters, he finished a long last (seventeen lengths). Not asked to do anything in the first of his two trials but took good benefit from it, winning his second with plenty in hand over Ottoman and Heart Testa. Will be a leading contender in this race.
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3. JAPONISME – J Bowman (1) 58kgs
Continued his stunning run of form by recording his fourth consecutive win in the G3 San Domenico Stakes a fortnight ago. The Choisir colt sat midfield before peeling wide and rounding up his opponents in good style, defeating King’s Troop and Haptic by three quarters of a length with this year’s Golden Slipper winner Vancouver, in fourth spot. Rock-hard fit, professional, good draw and jockey – there’s not much not to like.
4. HOLLER – C Reith (6) 56kgs
Defied a betting drift on debut to win at Randwick in January (Fireworks second in the race), before a spell and returning to a close third as the odd-on favourite to Spill The Beans, again at Randwick (fourth in the race was Kimberly Star). The Godolphin runner has always been earmarked as one to watch and his effort in two recent trials suggest he will be monitored again closely here as well however would prefer to see him prove himself at his level first.
5. RAPHAEL’S CAT – A Hyeronimus (4) 56kgs
The Given three trials by his trainer Gai Waterhouse before making a return to racing from a five month spell at Canterbury, and the trial hit-out paid dividends, with the Redoute’s Choice colt proving far too strong for his rivals in the BM 67, winning by 2.5 lengths. Big jump up in class here but being a well-bred colt from the Waterhouse stable, coming off an impressive win, he has to be given a place chance here as he’ll be camped up on what may be a comfortably speed.
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6. REDZEL – T Berry (3) 56kgs
Posted a very impressive trial performance before making his return to racing in the G3 San Domenico Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago however, the son of Snitzel from the Snowden Racing stables, only held his ground in the run to the line, finishing fifth (4.2 lengths) behind Japonisme. He did defeat that horse comfortably on debut however, on last start, hard to see how he turns that margin around here.
7. MR OPTIMISTIC – J Parr (2) 56kgs
Given a freshen after having his first two starts in Victoria and then sent to Queensland where he easily won a Gold Coast Maiden before running an unlucky third in the Listed Bruce McLachlan Classic (1200m). Clocking up the miles early in his career and there’s probably been enough in his early form to suggest he’s capable of taking out a handy race somewhere along the line but, not convinced this is the one.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Raphael’s Cat takes up the running with Holler and the remainder of the small field should all be able to settle in a comfortable position. Pace in a small field critical but Japonisme, who just keeps going from strength, will be in the right spot throughout from gate one and in his current vein of form, it’s hard to go past him but Press Statement is a quality animal. Although I’d probably like to see a bit more pace on paper for him, think he has the class to overcome it. It’s a similar story for Exosphere who can be expected to run very well. If able to set a favourable tempo, Raphael’s Cat could give them something to chase.
1. PRESS STATEMENT
4. RAPHEAL’S CAT