Godolphin colt Astern upstaged Star Turn to take out the 2016 Run To The Rose and he is set go into the Golden Rose Stakes in a fortnight as one of the favourites.
Astern was ignored somewhat in the Run To The Rose betting market in favour of Star Turn and stablemate Impending, but James McDonald was always confident that Astern was the right horse for the Group 2 event.
McDonald gave Astern an absolute peach of a ride and the son of Medaglia D’Oro outsprinted Star Turn when he was asked for an extra effort to record a very impressive Run To The Rose victory.
Trainer John O’Shea was quick to pay credit to his team for getting Astern to the races in outstanding condition and he said that the three-year-old would likely head to the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens in a fortnight.
“It was lovely team effort to get him to the races today in the order that he was presented in,” O’Shea said.
“It was well-documented that he looks to have nice improvement, but he is learning his trade well and apart from a blemish in the Golden Slipper he has a wonderful record.
“At this level you can’t afford to have anything go wrong and you have to draw well and have those lovely James McDonald rides.
“I would hope he can go to the Golden Rose.
“We will see what Mac says about him at seven and to be fair the very good Hawkes galloper and him cleared out.
“They look to be two of the chances and we were very buoyed by the chances of our other runners.”
James McDonald elected to ride Astern instead of one of the three other Godolphin gallopers in the race and his decision was justified when the three-year-old fought off Star Turn in the finish.
McDonald said that he has always been confident that Astern would develop into a top-level galloper and he believes he will have every possible chance if he runs in the Golden Rose Stakes.
“You only have to watch it to see how good he is,” McDonald said.
“He is the king of the castle, he is the real deal.
“I have stuck with him all the way through and it is well-documented that I have always had a soft spot for him.
“He has always given that feel of an outstanding galloper and if he can run 1400 he has a very good chance to win the Golden Rose.”
Star Turn lost no admirers in defeat, but Team Hawkes are yet to confirm whether he will push on to the Golden Rose.