The 2014 The Run To The Rose field has been released, with undefeated gelding Almalad set to start his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 3 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Almalad (barrier five) started his racing career with two wins at Gosford and a midweek meeting at Royal Randwick before he stamped himself as a horse to watch with a tough win over Brazen Beau and Looks Like The Cat in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse has an extremely high opinion of Almalad and she believes that the son of Al Maher is capable of winning the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Brazen Beau finished second behind Almalad in the J.J. Atkins and he is also set to start his spring preparation in The Run To The Rose.
The I Am Invincible colt has followed a similar path to 2013 Golden Rose Stakes winner Zoustar and he won the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben on May 10 before finishing second in both the Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1350m) and the J.J. Atkins.
Chris Waller has a strong hand in the 2014 The Run To The Rose field and Brazen Beau will be joined in the field by both Law and Sniper Fire.
Law has drawn ideally in barrier one and will be having the second race start of his spring campaign after finishing third in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m), while Sniper Fire (barrier nine) needs to perform well in The Run To The Rose to earn himself a race start in the Group 1 Golden Rose.
Another trainer with multiple runners in The Run To The Rose field is John O’Shea, who has included Ghibellines, Kumaon and Sarajevo in the acceptances for the $125,000 event.
Ghibellines (barrier eight) has not been seen at the races since he finished a credible eighth in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens in April 5, while Kumaon has his spring kick-off date pushed back when he was scratched from the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick last weekend.
Sarajevo was well-backed in the lead-up to the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 9 and he finished an unlucky fourth, but will now need to perform well in The Run To The Rose to be any chance of qualifying for a run in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m).
Almalad is not the only galloper that will be defending an unbeaten record in The Run To The Rose, with Team Cummings-trained Hallowed Crown chasing his third race win from as many starts this weekend.
Hallowed Crown recorded an impressive win in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 and he has impressed co-trainer James Cummings with his efforts in two barrier trials this preparation.
Team Hawkes have included San Domenico Stakes winner Nostradamus in The Run To The Rose field, but he is no certainty to take his place in the field for the Group 3 event.
The leading stable are concerned about running Nostradamus on a heavy track at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday and are expected to also include the three-year-old in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) field.
Rounding out the 2014 The Run To The Rose field is the Paul Perry-trained duo of Scratch Mc Lucky and Modoc as well as San Domenico Stakes disappointment Ygritte.