The 2015 Roman Consul Stakes field has been released and Golden Rose Stakes winner Exosphere is set to return to the races in the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Exosphere stamped himself as a horse to watch when he scored a dominant four lengths win in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and suffered from cardiac arrhythmia when he finished at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), but he has gone to another level as a three-year-old.
The Lonhro colt returned to the races with a fast-finishing win in the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 29 and he showed a most impressive turn-of-foot to take out the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12.
Exosphere is clearly the horse to beat in the Roman Consul Stakes, but there are a number of other talented gallopers that are set to contest the Group 2 event this weekend.
Counterattack returned to racing with a strong victory in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September 19 and he will take winning form into the Roman Consul Stakes along with the resuming Surfin’ Safari, Gerald Ryan-trained Spill The Beans, the blue-blood Sooboog and the highly promising Yaboroo.
The majority of 2015 Roman Consul Stakes field is based in New South Wales, but there will be two visitors from Queensland in the race in the form of Le Chef and Wicked Intent.
Le Chef recorded an impressive victory in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 10, but he was sent straight back to the spelling paddock after he failed to fire in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben on May 9.
The Exceed And Excel gelding showed that he was ready to return to racing when he recorded a dominant four lengths in a barrier trial at the Sunshine Coast on September 15 and he will jump from barrier four with Luke Tarrant in the saddle.
The other Queensland-based galloper in the Roman Consul Stakes field is Wicked Intent, who returned to the races with a third place finish in the Kangaroos Bus Lines Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on September 12.
Wicked Intent was one of the best early running two-year-olds in Australia at the end of last year and he was able to replicate that form when he finished second in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
The 2015 Roman Consul Stakes field is rounded out by Heritage Stakes placegetter Takedown, Chris Waller-trained Japonisme and the talented Zoutenant.