Godolphin’s head Australian trainer John O’Shea is giving Astern the thumbs up of running a strong 1400m in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose at Rosehill on September 10.
Astern will be tackling the 1400m for the first time as will many of his Golden Rose rivals but O’Shea can see no problem with the Medaglia D’Oro colt handling the step up distance.
The flashy bay colt scored his fourth win from five starts when he beat the short priced favourite Star Turn by a long head in the Group 2 $175,000 MTA Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill last Saturday and O’Shea said that is now full steam ahead heading to the Golden Rose.
“A good fortnight, and Astern is on for the Golden Rose,” O’Shea said.
“I’m not too worried about the 1400. He’s a quality horse in a quality year.”
The stable’s number one jockey James McDonald threw out an early tip when he selected Astern ahead of the stable’s other three runners in the Run To The Rose and he is confident that the colt will run out a strong 1400m in the Golden Rose.
“He’s a different animal compared to his two-year-old season and that’s the only reason I went that way,” McDonald said.
“I thought he was the real deal as a two-year-old, I think he is even more of the real deal now.”
“He’s such a good horse, 1400m should be no issue for him, I hope so anyway.”
O’Shea’s other three runners came up with mixed results in the Run To The Rose with Impending running a solid race to finish third, three and three quarter lengths behind his stablemate, Tessera finishing in seventh position while Telperion could only beat one runner home to finish eleventh.
“James (McDonald) was rapt when he came back after the race. He’s been very bullish about him all along,” O’Shea said.
Astern is now a winner of four races from five starts and O’Shea is prepared to forgive him for his only defeat when eleventh to Capitalist in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“Apart from that blemish in the Golden Slipper where he didn’t have a good preparation in the lead up to it and a wide barrier, he has a wonderful record,” O’Shea said.
O’Shea said that an uninterrupted preparation this campaign has resulted in early Spring Carnival success for the new season three year old colt.
“His preparation has gone beautifully,” O’Shea said.
“At this level you just can’t afford to have anything go wrong, you’ve got to draw well and you’ve got to have those lovely James McDonald rides. It’s just a reflection on what a great team effort this is.”
Golden Rose market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.40 Astern, $6.50 Divine Prophet, $7.50 Omei Sword $8.50 Star Turn $10 Evacuation, $11 Yankee Rose, $13 Derryn, $15 Impending, $17 El Divino, Leotie, $26 Defcon, Prized Icon, Mediterranean, Thronum.