The looming showdown between 2009 Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready and rising stars Denman and Trusting has prompted Sydney Turf Club racing manager John Nicholson to predict Saturday’s $1 million 2009 Golden Rose will be the best yet.
The final field for the 1400 metre race, elevated to Group One status for the first time this year, will be declared on Tuesday.
But Phelan Ready, Denman and Trusting are all expected to be there after the latter forced his way into the line-up by beating the older horses in the Group Two Warwick Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
While the Golden Rose has always boasted strong fields, Nicholson believes Saturday’s edition is shaping as the best in its short but successful history.
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“I’m going to have to say yes,” Nicholson said.
“The form leading into the race this year looks strong and the form out of the Golden Rose is strong every year.
“Peter Snowden’s horse (Denman) looks very good, then you’re going to have the weight-for-age form of Trusting and the Slipper winner who is also the Magic Millions winner and was the dominant two-year-old.
“It will be extremely interesting.”
Of the six Golden Rose winners to date, four have gone on to Group One success – In Top Swing (2003), Paratroopers (2005), Forensics (2007) and Duporth last year.
Forensics became the first Golden Slipper winner to come back and take out the Golden Rose, a feat Phelan Ready will be striving to emulate at Rosehill when he reunites with his Slipper-winning jockey Brad Rawiller.
Nathan Tinkler-owned colt Trusting, who is in his first racing preparation, will have to cope with backing up for the third consecutive Saturday following his luckless seventh to Denman in The Run To The Rose and his Warwick Stakes victory.
Despite being impressed with Trusting’s performance against the older horses on Saturday, Nicholson isn’t sure the weight-for-age race will prove the best Golden Rose guide.
“The only thing with Trusting – and you’ve got to go with guys like (winning jockey Chris) Munce who say he is extremely good – but you can look good as a three-year-old winning at weight-for-age with nothing on your back,” Nicholson said.
Saturday’s Up And Coming Stakes runner-up Shellscrape was the only late entry for the Golden Rose when they closed on Monday.
As expected, connections of More Than Great did not pay up for the colt who has had a change of program and will instead be targeted at the 2009 Caulfield Guineas.
The Golden Rose will be one of four stakes races at Rosehill along with the Concorde and Sheraco Stakes and the Premier’s Cup.
Article by Mandy Cottell Aapracing