Godolphin’s Australian managing director Henry Plumptre is relying on the magic of stable jockey James McDonald to overcome Astern’s wide barrier in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Astern came up with gate twelve in the fourteen horse field but Plumtree said the first Group 1 of the Sydney Autumn Carnival is still winnable with McDonald riding in peak form.
“No jockey is riding better than James McDonald and he’ll make the right decisions,” Plumptre said.
“We’ve won this race from wide draws before and the way Astern is progressing in this preparation, he can overcome it.”
“He’s dropping his head, racing much more kindly. He’ll probably have to go back.”
Plumptre is also confident that Astern will handle the jump up to the 1400m after scoring first up in the Group 2 $175,000 MTA Run To The Rose over 1200m at Rosehill on August 27 and added that the Group 1 $1m Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 8 is also on the Spring Carnival agenda.
“We have Guineas aspirations for this colt later in the Spring, so this trip shouldn’t present a problem,” Plumptre said.
“He is by Medaglia d’Oro so we’re anticipating that will kick in and along with racing pattern he’s shown us during this preparation, it should give him the chance to run it out strongly.”
Astern lost his spot at the top of the Golden Rose market order at Ladbrokes.com.au when the twelve marble came out and is now the second favourite at $4.20 behind the Chris Waller trained Omei Sword at $3.60.
Waller has also gone with the magic factor and has called on the services of Hong Kong’s leading jockey Joao ‘Magic’ Moreira to partner Omei Sword.
As well as Astern, trainer John O’Shea will saddle up $12 chance Impending and Plumptre expects the Lonhro colt to show plenty of improvement on his first up third to Astern in The Run To The Rose.
“Impending was brought along a bit more slowly in his first prep and it’s probably fair to say he has plenty of improvement to come,” Plumptre said.
“He has the pedigree that says he’ll run seven furlongs at Group One level. His mother was a classic winner, he’s a colt who’s shown he should appreciate this trip.”
“I really feel we have the best two colts in the race, the draw for Astern could be better, but it is far from a disaster.”
Market order for the Golden Rose at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.60 Omei Sword, $4.20 Astern, $4.80 Divine Prophet, $8 Yankee Rose, $12 Impending, Derryn, $15 El Divino, $26 Mediterranean, $34 Thronum, $51 Good Standing, $61 Nikitas, $101 Oink, $126 O’Reilly Cyrus, Chamalu.