In-form three year old Japonisme has a definite fitness edge on his rival in the Group 2 $175,000 MTA NSW The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained Japonisme is the winner of his last four starts and is rock hard in condition compared to his stablemate Press Statement who is having his first run back from a spell following his win in the Group 1 $600,000 BMW Australia J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Doomben during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Also resuming from their winter spells are the John O’Shea trained colts Exoshpere and Holler.
Exosphere scored an impressive four lengths win in the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 before finishing sixteenth to Vancouver in the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21 before being sent for a spell.
Holler was spelled after running second in a two year old plate over 1100m at Randwick on June 6.
“He’s (Japonisme) been one step ahead of them in terms of fitness but he might have that same advantage on Saturday,” Waller said.
“He’s got to step up to the 1200m if he is to win this weekend and then the 1400m in two weeks if he is to run in the Golden Rose.
“But when you’ve got a $1 million race in your backyard and a horse that’s won its last five starts, it’s hard to turn down.”
Waller is now keen to run Japonisme, along with Press Statement, in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 12.
Japonisme has been installed the $2.50 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Run To The Rose on the back of his winning form and showed that his hat trick of wins in restricted grade was no fluke when he came out and scored a half a length win in the Group 3 $125,000 Smithfield RSL Club San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 15, leaving Golden Slipper winner Vancouver slugging in fourth spot.
Premiership winning jockey Hugh Bowman was aboard the Choisir gelding when he kicked off his winning run at Canterbury on July 8 and is back in the saddle in the Run To The Rose after Rory Hutchings, Nash Rawiller and Tye Angland all shared his last three wins.
Bowman has been watching the three year old perform and admits he has improved greatly since he rode him last.
“He’s a better horse than I thought he was, I’ll give him credit,” Bowman said.
“He’s an unassuming horse but his turn of foot was there for everyone to see last start against the best two-year-olds around from last year.”
Japonisme has proven in the past that he can handle any conditions and with the Rosehill track rated a heavy 8 on Thursday, Bowman can’t see that as a problem, but added that he thought he was better on a good surface.
“It was a dominant win the other day,” Bowman said.
“He’s going to have softer conditions this time and he has performed on the soft but judging by his performance the other day he is more effective on top of the ground.”
Run To The Rose market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.50 Japonisme, $4.40 Exosphere, $5 Press Statement, $7 Holler, $8.50 Raphael’s Cat, Redzel, $41 Mr Optimistic.