The Chris Waller trained Omei Sword is the new favourite for the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday after drawing perfectly at barrier three in the fourteen horse field.
Omei Sword jumped to the top of the Golden Rose market order with the John O’Shea trained Astern on Monday when Waller confirmed a start for the High Chaparral filly but after drawing an ideal barrier, she is now outright favourite at $3.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Astern stays in close contention at $3.80 just ahead of the Team Hawkes trained Divine Prophet at $4.80 while Inglis Sires’ winner Yankee Rose is the only other runner under the $10 mark at $9.50.
Waller had to look overseas to find a suitable rider for Omei Sword and found champion Hong Kong based jockey Joao Moreira who has sort leave from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to travel to Sydney to ride Omei Sword in the Golden Rose.
Waller only committed to run Omei Sword in the Golden Rose on Monday and was left searching for a rider after Brenton Avdulla, who rode her to victory in the Group 2 $175,000 Alpha Flight Services Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 20, was booked to ride Impending for trainer John O’Shea.
Leading Group 1 winning jockey Hugh Bowman, who does the bulk of the riding for the Waller stable, had also committed to ride the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained El Divino who he partnered when fourth to Astern in the Group 2 $175,000 MTA Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on August 27.
Waller tweeted that Moreira will be applying for a release from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to travel to Sydney to ride Omei Sword on Saturday and also that Tye Angland would ride the stable’s other runner Nikitas who has drawn just worse than midfield at barrier eight in the fourteen horse field.
“Please note that in the De Bortoli Golden Rose this Saturday, Nikitas will be ridden by Tye Angland and Omei Sword will be ridden by Joao Moreira pending approval from the Hong Kong Jockey Club,” Waller tweeted.
Astern was out of luck at the barrier draw, coming up with gate twelve, and James McDonald will be hoping the gaps open up in the straight to give him a chance of winning back to back Golden Rose wins for the Godolphin Team after he steered Exosphere to victory last year.
The Team Hawkes trained Divine Prophet put himself into contention for the Golden Rose with a last to first win in the Group 3 $125,000 Primo Smallgoods Up and Coming Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on August 20 and no doubt Tommy Berry will adopt the same tactics after the Choisir colt draw wide at barrier ten.
Sunshine Coast trainer David Vandyke has Yankee Rose peaking at the right time and was pleased with her gallop with the blinkers on in between races on her home track on Sunday and will head to Sydney on Thursday.
Yankee Rose is also a backmarker and will jump from gate nine with Hong Kong based jockey Zac Purton sticking with her.
Purton and Yankee Rose combined during the Sydney Autumn Carnival for a second to Capitalist in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 19 followed by a win in the Group 1 $1m Inglis Sires’ (1400m) at Randwick a fortnight later.
Market order for the Golden Rose at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Omei Sword, $3.80 Astern, $4.80 Divine Prophet, $9.50 Yankee Rose, $12 Impending, $13 Derryn, $16 El Divino, $19 Mediterranean, $31 Thronum, $51 Good Standing, $61 Nikitas, $101 O’Reilly Cyrus, Oink, Chamalu.