The Godolphin Team has confirmed that Golden Rose winner Astern will head to Melbourne to contest the Group 1 $1m Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 8.
Trainer John O’Shea gave Astern the all clear to step up to the 1600m of the Caulfield Guineas after producing a stunning finish, coming from near the tail of the field on the home turn, to win the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
Even though O’Shea considers Astern’s future to be as a sprinter, he has plenty of confidence that the Medaglia D’Oro colt’s class will see him run a Mile against the three year olds.
“Ultimately he’s going to be a 1200-to-1400 metre horse,” O’Shea said.
“But I think class can take them a long way as Spring three-year-olds,” he said.
“When they get to the Autumn the others catch up physically and it evens out.”
Astern took his race record to five wins from six starts with his Golden Rose victory boosting his prizemoney to just over the million dollar mark and he will have his next race start in the Group 3 $175,000 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 24.
‘We had envisaged to take him to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas Prelude and he would probably run the mile at Caulfield,” O’Shea said.
O’Shea has revealed that a Spring Carnival preparation for Astern was in doubt even before it started after he had to have a longer than anticipated spell following his Autumn Carnival campaign that wound up when he dead heated for first with El Divino in the Group 3 $200,000 Widden Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on April 2.
“We weren’t travelling well early in the winter and we had to extend his break,” he said.
“I thought we were going to miss the Golden Rose initially because of how much longer we had to leave him out. There are a lot of people to thank for getting that part of it right.
“A lot also went in getting him right on the day, teaching him to settle and make sure he executed correctly on race day.”
Astern has jumped to the top of the Caulfield Guineas market order at $3.20 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Team Hawkes trained Divine Propeht at $8 and Kiwi three year old Sacred Elixir at $10.
Divine Prophet finished just behind the placegetters when fourth in the Golden Rose while the Tony Pike trained Sacred Elixir will have his first run since winning the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 11 in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
Early market order for the Caulfield Guineas at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Astern, $8 Divine Prophet, $10 Sacred Elixir, $11 Omei Sword, $13 Evacuation, Impending, $17 Saracino, $21 Archives, $26 Detective, Highlad, Prized Icon, Seaburge.