Talented colt Exosphere produced another outstanding performance to win the 2015 Golden Rose Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Exosphere jumped from the gates fairly and he was settled in a lovely position just behind the speed, while Speak Fondly took up the running Holler.
There were concerns in the lead-up to the race that Exosphere would be blocked for a run in the straight, but the perfect run opened up for the son of Lonhro when Speak Fondly rolled to the rail and Exosphere exploded when he was asked for an extra effort to record a most impressive victory.
Jockey James McDonald admitted after the race that he would have preferred to have drawn an outside barrier with Exosphere, but he was thrilled that the run opened up for Exosphere to deliver him a maiden win in the Golden Rose Stakes.
“It has haunted me this race for a long time,” McDonald said.
“When I first moved over and had my first ride in this race I rode an unbelievably good colt called Foxwedge and nothing went to plan, so it is good to put Sheik Mohammed’s colours on and ride this race.
“He is a super colt.
“I went through the race in my head many times and I said to John that I wished I had drawn barrier nine instead of one, but as it turns out you can’t worry about that kind of stuff and you just have to let the horse do it.”
Exosphere’s victory in the Golden Rose Stakes was John O’Shea’s first Group 1 win with a locally-bred horse and he was delighted with the turn-of-foot that the three-year-old showed in the final stages of the race.
O’Shea believe that Exosphere is in for a big 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign and he indicated that the Golden Rose winner would head to Melbourne for the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 26.
“It was a nice win,” O’Shea said.
“When Brett rode to the rail that made the decision before we were either going to go to the inside or come to his outside and there was always going to be a gap there.
“You know he has a great turn-of-foot and he is hard to run down.
“He has grown into himself, he is by this great sire Lonhro that the boss has and he is in for a great season.
“A horse like Exosphere has international appeal and you never know where he could end up.
“We always had in our mind to go to Caulfield for the Prelude and we see how he pulls up, get him down to Melbourne and see if he can be effective around a bend down there.”
Speak Fondly battled home bravely to finish second from a fast-finishing Sebring Sun, while Press Statement had no luck in running whatsoever and he tired late to miss the placings.