The Australian Turf Club released the Golden Rose Stakes order of entry on Tuesday morning, with Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside topping the ballot.
Some 222 horses are still in contention for the $1 million feature which will be run at Rosehill Gardens on September 25.
The final field will include only 18 horses with four emergencies, which makes for a competitive next fortnight as those horses on the cusp of gaining a start look to cement their spot in the Group 1 event.
While the likes of Stay Inside, ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Anamoe, Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Shaquero and Blue Diamond Stakes winner Artorius take up the top four spots of the ballot, a few big names sit outside of the final field, namely Swift Witness (20), Ranch Hand (25), In The Congo (27) and Sword Of State (31).
Swift Witness looks likely to move up two spots in the order of entry given that Queensland horse Alpine Edge (11) is bypassing the race in preference for the Caulfield Guineas, while Danny O’Brien’s Finance Tycoon (10) pulled up short with a throat issue in his racetrack return in the Poseidon Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Alongside Swift Witness, the likes of Mallory (26), Glistening (28) and Najmaty (39) will be hoping for success in Saturday’s Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, with a win there all but assuring the winning filly a start in the Golden Rose if they choose to head there on the seven-day backup.
Punters have taken a hold of impressive first-up winner Anamoe, backing the Godolphin colt from $4.50 into $2 in Golden Rose futures markets after his win in the Run To The Rose Stakes.
The Sires’ Produce winner will be looking to repeat what the past three Godolphin-owned Golden Rose winners – Bivouac, Astern and Exosphere – by winning the Run To The Rose the start prior to taking out the Rosehill feature.
Anamoe is the clear favourite at $2 with Sportsbet, ahead of Artorius ($8.50) and Remarque ($9), with the latter all the way down at 47th in the order of entry and therefore unlikely to gain a start.
Ole Kirk won the Golden Rose in 2020, prior to winning the Caulfield Guineas at his next start.