Form analyst Daniel O’Sullivan has Exosphere on top of his 2015 Coolmore Stud Stakes tips, but he believes that Counterattack represents the main danger to the star three-year-old in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Counterattack showed plenty of promise as a two-year-old and he started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a fast-finishing win in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September 19 before he did not have a great deal of luck in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 3.
The Redoute’s Choice colt returned to winning form with a strong performance in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 17 and O’Sullivan told RSN that the three-year-old will finish in the Coolmore Stud Stakes placings if he is able to replicate that performance.
“A horse like Counterattack is very interesting here,” O’Sullivan said.
“He comes into this race with the profile of the improver.
“He was very impressive winning there on the clock at Randwick with the figures put down and as a two-year-old he showed quite a bit of promise.
“I enormous respect for Chris Waller’s ability to take good two-year-olds and bring them back as three-year-olds significantly better.
“I have a keen watch on Counterattack here and he is one that is set up to run to a new peak here.
“I’m not sure he can match the level of Exosphere, but at the same time would want to be somewhere close to his best.
“Counterattack is as good a thing to run second or third as Exosphere is to win.”
Exosphere is currently available at 2015 Coolmore Stud Stakes odds of $1.45 with Ladbrokes and O’Sullivan agrees that is the right price of the Golden Rose Stakes and Roman Consul Stakes winner.
O’Sullivan believes that only bad luck or a very flat performance will see Exosphere beaten in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, but he is still happy to sit out and just enjoy the race rather than back the Lonhro colt at such a short price.
“I think it is about the right price,” O’Sullivan said.
“He is by far and away the best three-year-old in the country and he is doing it running to the right level.
“That makes the challenge for something else to improve to his level extremely difficult, that level of performance is simply beyond the level of all but .1 or .2 percent of horses.
“This race really just comes down to whether he can run up to his form and his figures.
“This race has thrown up plenty of theatre with him drawn barrier two and that will be a challenge for James McDonald.”
Exosphere is currently available at 2015 Coolmore Stud Stakes odds of $1.45 with Ladbrokes and he is a dominant favourite from Keen Array ($12), Mogador ($12), Counterattack ($15) and Hellbent ($17).
Don’t miss out on the best Coolmore Stud Stakes odds with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% on every single race at Flemington on Saturday.