The outcome of the Rosehill feature on Saturday, the $150,000, listed Smithfield RSL Club Rosebud (1100m), seems preordained if the market is the indicator with Godophin’s Plague Stone the $2.60 TAB.com.au favourite with Sandbar and Charge next at $7.00.
The Lonhro colt Plague Stone won the Rosebud Prelude over 1000m at Randwick on July 21st by a half-length over Witherspoon and on the basis of that run he has the firm favourite status. Barrier six and Hugh Bowman up certainly assists as well.
However, a win in The Rosebud does not signal success in the ultimate prize of the $1m, Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at the same track on September 22nd with the additional distance of 300m giving the young three-year-old’s difficulty.
Since 2012 not one winner of The Rosebud has gone forward to win the Golden Rose. Aeronautical won that year, She’s A Fox in 2013, Eurozone in 2014, Scissor Kick in 2015, Sebring Sun in 2016 and last year Rose favourite Menari. The latter has just been retired with a recurring injury and he was overrun by subsequent multiple Group 1 winner Trapeze Artist in the Rose.
However, Saturday’s race is still vital to all nine colts as they strive to place themselves higher in the order of their generation.
Will the additional maturity and strength they now have allow them to show that even if they might not got forward to the additional distance of the Rose, they have sprinting ability worth of the winning black type.
Sandbar winning at Warwick Farm in February, picture Stevehart.com.au
Of the field Brad Widdup’s Snitzel colt Sandbar already has a stakes win from the Lonhro Plate over 1100m at Warwick Farm back in February. That win set the colt on a Golden Slipper path, but after a third in the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes over 1200m at Rosehill on March 17th he was eighth in the Slipper. Saturday’s race is to strive back to stakes winning level.
The favourite Plague Stone was second in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude for colts and geldings over 1100m at Caulfield in February. The Blue Diamond Stakes did not work with a 14th place and a return to Sydney by the stable saw a fifth in the Group 2 Todman Stakes over 1200m at Randwick on March 10th. The colt was then spelled.
Gerald Ryan’s Not A Single Doubt colt Legend Of Condor has a similar performance page. Third in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes over 1200m at Randwick in early March and then fourth in the Todman. He finished the campaign with a second in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes over 1100m at Randwick on April 7th.
Outrageous, an All Too Hard colt from the Hawkes’ stable, has Group 1 form after his third in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes over 1400m at Randwick on April 7th followed by a fifth in the Group 1 Champagne Stake over 1600m two weeks later.
Oxford Tycoon was third to Sandbar in the Lonhro Plate and Exceltic was third in the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes over 1100m in February.
A win on Saturday would be an important and valuable addition the pedigree pages of both these and Golden Tycoon, Charge and Ringerdingding in the race, as well as laying the platform for the way forward into the spring.
The market’s reading of Saturday’s race on a stand-alone basis looks correct with the early promise Godolphin thought of Plague Stone back in February coming back to the fore with the benefit of his time away amply displayed in the Rosebud Prelude.