Godolphin’s top two year old from last season, Astern, is shaping up well for his return to the race track in the Group 2 $175,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on August 27.
Astern has contested two recent Randwick barrier trials with an eighth over 850m on August 9 followed by an impressive win over 1050m today, pleasing trainer John O’Shea as the colt prepares to kick off his 2016 Spring Carnival campaign .
“Last season he was one of the better colts around and he did everything right today, wasn’t knocked around at all, never pressured,” O’Shea said.
“That was his second trial and we couldn’t have asked much more from him.
“He’s in a good frame of mind, where we want him to be.”
Astern was the winner of three of his four starts as a two year old with his only defeat being an eleventh to Capitalist in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 19.
The Medaglia D’Oro colt was a winner on debut in a 1000m two year old Plate at Randwick in December.
O’Shea then gave him a short break before preparing him for the an Autumn campaign that kicked off with a win in the Group 2 $250,000 UVEX Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on February 20.
The flashy colt then had no luck in the Golden Slipper but redeemed himself by dead heating the the Gai Waterhouse trained El Divino in the Group 3 $200,000 Widden Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on April 2 at his next start before heading to the spelling paddock again.
Astern is also among the nominations for the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 10 for which he is rated as a $26 chance in early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Stablemate Impending shares the top spot in the Golden Rose Stakes market order with Group 1 Inglis Sires’ winner Yankee Rose at $7 ahead of the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Mediterranean and San Domenico Stakes winner Star Turn at $9.