Boasting an impressive $1 million prize pool, the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes has been won by some of Australia’s best three-year-olds since its inception.
Horses like Kingston Town and Flying Spur won the Golden Rose when it was contested as the Peter Pan Stakes and the rich history of the race has only continued to build since it gained Group 1 status in 2009.
Boom colt Menari is the firm favourite to join an impressive list of Golden Rose winners at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
2016 – Astern
Outstanding colt completed a dominant performance to win the 2016 edition of the Golden Rose. The son of Medaglia D’Oro showed plenty of ability as a two-year-old, but returned to the track a far-more furnished horse at three and was a classy winner of the Group 2 The Run To The Rose (1200m) first-up. Jockey James McDonald elected to take a position towards the rear of the Golden Rose field after jumping well, but peeled the horse off the fence as the field straightened and was greeted with a huge turn of foot as Astern easily put the sword to his rivals.
2015 – Exosphere
Exosphere was one of the class colts of his generation and posted his first and only Group 1 win in the 2015 edition of the Golden Rose. A winner of two of his four starts as a two-year-old, the Lonhro colt was barely tested when he resumed in spring for a comfortable win in the Run To The Rose and jumped a clear race favourite in the Golden Rose. Settling midfield and on the fence in transit, Exosphere enjoyed an easy run off a slow tempo and was simply too good for his rivals in the final 300m of the race.
2014 – Hallowed Crown
The 2014 Golden Rose drew an open field of three-year-olds and of the fifteen horses, there was a case to be made for around ten. The Bart & James Cummings-trained Hallowed Crown had posted three wins from as many career starts leading into the 2015 Golden Rose, including an impressive first-up triumph in the Run To The Rose a fortnight prior. Charged with overcoming barrier 14, jockey Hugh Bowman patiently rode the Street Sense colt across to the tail of the field as Ygritte and Sniper Fire took up the early running. Bowman followed in-form colt Scissor Kick around the field at the turn and locked in a fierce sprint battle with the Paul Messara-trained colt, but was on the superior horse.
2013 – Zoustar
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller experienced plenty of success with Zoustar during the 2013 Brisbane winter, but it wouldn’t be until the classy colt resumed in spring that he would find genuine world-beating ability. Having run on well to finish fourth in the Run To The Rose first-up, the son of Northern Meteor jumped awkwardly in the Golden Rose and was forced to take a position towards the tail of the field. Veteran hoop Jim Cassidy remained patient on the horse and allowed him to work through his gear approaching the final straight. Immediately responding when asked for an extra effort, Zouster exploded to the lead and looked the winner 200m from home; beating the likes of Dissident, Eurozone and Criterion.
2012 – Epaulette
The talented Epaulette shared an age group with the likes of All Too Hard and Pierro, but still managed to post several wins at the highest level, including the 2012 edition of the Golden Rose. Queensland raider Doubtfilly flew the barriers and immediately took up the running; setting a reasonable tempo for the Golden Rose field and jockey Tommy Berry subsequently elected to take a position at the tail of the field. Appearing to simply have too much to do when wide and last at the bend, the Commands colt mustered a big turn of foot and locked in a fierce battle with stable mate Albrecht, but poked clear in the final strides of the race to claim his first Group 1 crown.
2011 – Manawanui
Manawanui only faced five other horses in the 2011 Golden Rose Stakes, but the small field also included the likes of Helmet, Foxwedge and Smart Missile and his victory was subsequently one of the best since the turn of the century. Jockey Glyn Schofield was positive on the horse from the outset and took an ideal position in transit on the heels of early leader Aeronautical, but took up the running at the bend and dictated terms for his rivals. Kicking clear rounding onto the final straight, Manawanui continued to find and sustained an impressive sprint to hold out a fast-finishing Smart Missile.
2010 – Toorak Toff
Toorak Toff completed a perfectly-timed sprint to win the 2010 Golden Rose in the final lunges of the race. Jockey Damien Oliver took a position just worse than midfield after jumping well, but appeared to be caught in a pocket as the field straightened and would need to find something special to win. Squamosa, who set the tempo in transit, kicked clear of his rivals upon straightening and looked to have opened too great a gap with 200m, but tired late and opened the door for a flying Toorak Toff.
2009 – Denman
Denman posted nine wins and one minor through his twelve career starts, however his only triumph at the highest level came in the 2009 edition of the Golden Rose. The Lonhro colt took a position within the field of fifteen; allowing early leaders Bombay Sling and Shellscrape to set a fair tempo in transit. Offered a clear racing line 300m from the post, Denman immediately responded when asked for an extra effort by jockey Kerrin McEvoy; flying home to beat Trusting by two lengths.
2008 – Duporth
A masterful ride by a young Hugh Bowman was enough to see Duporth beat Stripper on the line in the 2008 Golden Rose; the last time that the race was contested at Group 2 level. Bowman settled Duporth towards the middle of the Golden Rose field and enjoyed a reasonably carefree run in transit, but was trapped behind a wall of horses upon arriving at the final straight and appeared to have too much to do. Remaining patient on the horse, Bowman found a split between runners and set about chasing down runaway leader Stripper, catching his rivals in the final throws of the race.
2007 – Forensics
Due to the outbreak of equine influencer, the 2007 edition of the Golden Rose was postponed and instead contested during the autumn of 2008. The race was won by multiple Group 1 champion Forensics, who ran on well to beat closest rival Em Cambio to the line by close to two lengths. Forensics remains the most-recent female Golden Rose winner.