Sheikh Mohammed’s investment in Australian racing has reaped yet another big prize with Godolphin colt Astern’s win in the Golden Rose.
Godolphin won the $1 million race a year ago with Exosphere but both trainer John O’Shea and jockey James McDonald believe Astern has the scope to go on to even better things.
“He ran the 1400 (metres) pretty well I thought,” McDonald said.
“He might even run a mile. He’s very good. The world’s his oyster.
“He’s the real, real, real deal.”
Astern came from the back in the field to dominate the final 200 metres of Saturday’s Group One race at Rosehill, beating Omei Sword by 2-1/4 lengths.
The two were the respective market leaders with Astern at $3.20 and Omei Sword $4.40.
“He showed how dominant he is,” O’Shea said.
“It’s a team effort to persist on teaching him to be a good horse.
“I’m always learning about this game.”
Astern has only been beaten once when unplaced in the Golden Slipper and used what O’Shea believes is the right lead-up in the Run To The Rose.
“We thought the Run To The Rose was an exceptional form race,” he said.
“If we got everything right we’d give him a chance to do the job for us and he did.”
Bookmakers have been quick to promote him to the top of the Caulfield Guineas market, turning him in from $21 to $4.
Yankee Rose had come in for support in the day leading up to the race to start at $5.
The ATC Sires’ Produce winner and the only horse in the field of 14 three-year-olds successful at Group One level, Yankee Rose led for much of the race but failed to finish it off, and was beaten into sixth.
“It was probably a little bit different from her today,” jockey Zac Purton said.
“She was rolling around a lot during the race, changing strides a couple of times in her action.
“She didn’t quite hit the line like she has been so we’ll see how she pulls up.”
Astern’s stablemate Impending ($11) was one of those to go past her and finished a pleasing third.
“We’re proud of both horses,” O’Shea said.
“Brenton (Avdulla) had not a lot of luck on the inside.
“I think he’s a colt of immense future.”
Trainer Chris Waller said Omei Sword would run next in the Group One Flight Stakes (1600m) against her own sex while her jockey Joao Moreira said she was a little unlucky.
“Lovely run. She was a bit unlucky turning for home. She got held up a bit but I don’t think if she had have gotten a run later she would have beaten the winner.
“The winner was too good.”