The 2014 Golden Rose is full of quality and you could make a case for most of the 15 runners.
While Peter Moody is yet to taste success in the race, he holds the key to this year’s installment with (12) Better Land and (13) Bring Me The Maid.
I’ve got no doubt Better Land would have won the Up and Coming Stakes at Randwick a fortnight back, if not for the wayward antics of Liberation. Better Land lobbed in a beautiful spot in the run, just off the pace and was launching what appeared to be a winning charge down the outside, only to be knocked sideways, not once, but twice.
The Golden Rose is set to jump at 4:25pm (AEST). Tune in to Sky Racing for all the action!
His effort to be beaten just three quarters of a length by Scissor Kick and Panzer Division (which franked the form last weekend) was outstanding. He’s won on Heavy and has placed on a Good3 (behind Scissor Kick in The Rosebud first up), so he handles all conditions and he looks excellent value at $7 Fixed at TAB.com.au.
His mum, Amelia’s Dream would have won the 2008 Golden Slipper with her head on her chest had she not gone amiss and this bloke is her first foal to race. Maybe connections will get some sort of Rosehill consolation 6 years later!
Check the full TAB.com.au market for the Group 1 Golden Rose here.
Fillies may have a lean record in the Golden Rose, but Bring Me The Maid is a big chance of turning things around for the fairer sex. The Golden Slipper placegetter was awesome first up in the Silver Shadow, showing a brilliant turn of foot on the Heavy9, to cruise home a length and a half clear of Memorial. What makes her effort even more impressive, is that she gave the runner up 3 kilos. She loves the wet, but is also more than handy on top of the ground.
Like Moody, John O’Shea has two runners in the race, (4) Kumaon and (11) Sarajevo, as he chases his first Group One win for his new boss. Kumaon was pretty good first up when running second to Hallowed Crown and with natural improvement looks a solid chance, while Sarajevo has had two runs back and there’s been merit in both of them. Third up from a break, you’d think he’ll be cherry ripe.
(3) Hallowed Crown could well be the horse to put young James Cummings on the map. His win first up in the Run To The Rose was devastating, but will he be as effective on firmer footing?
And then there’s (1) Almalad. He was plain first up behind Hallowed Crown, but there were excuses. He had 60kilos first up on a Heavy9 and he went in without a trial. Tommy Berry, who won the race two years ago aboard Epaulette, is convinced his mount will improve sharply should the track dry out. Gai Waterhouse will be hoping it does, as she tries to end her Golden Rose duck.
For the record, I’m tipping Better Land to beat his stablemate Bring Me The Maid, Sarajevo ($15 TAB.com.au) and Hallowed Crown.
G3 - The Coral.co.uk Winter Derby (class 1)
G2 - The Sky Bet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle Race (class 1)
G2 - The Betbright Pendil Novices' Steeple Chase (class 1)
G2 - The Betbright Adonis Juvenile Hurdle Race (class 1)
G3 - The Betbright Steeple Chase (handicap) (class 1)