Trainer John O’Shea has both Exopshere and Holler in the 2015 Run To The Rose field, but he believes that Japonisme will prove very tough to beat in the Group 2 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Japonisme started his winter campaign with a win at Canterbury on July 8 and he has since gone on to take out the Bob Ingham Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 18 and The Tradie Magazine Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 1 before he upset Vancouver to take out the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at the same venue on August 15.
The Choisir gelding has a clear fitness edge over the majority of his rivals in the Run To The Rose and O’Shea told Sky Racing HQ that the three-year-old is a more than deserving favourite in betting markets for the Group 2 event.
“He has the race fitness and I think that he is a very good horse,” O’Shea said.
“He has a record now that says he is and he has a good racing pattern that makes him hard to beat.
“We are going to have to be right at the top of our game to be competitive against him on the weekend.”
While O’Shea believes that Japonisme is the horse to beat in the Run To The Rose, he is still happy with the condition of both his chances and is confident that they will take plenty of benefit out of the run ahead of the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) in a fortnight.
Holler is set to make his debut at Group level in the Run To The Rose, but he impressed onlookers with his performance in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick on August 21, while will have his first race start since he suffered from cardiac arrhythmia in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
“They are the two that we thought in terms of the distance range would suit best,” O’Shea said.
“Traditionally the Golden Rose is a race that is run with a little bit of fire out of the track and both horses are competent on wet ground.
“At this stage that is the thinking behind those two and I expect them to run relatively well on Saturday.”
Japonisme is currently available at 2015 Run To The Rose odds of $2.40 and he is a clear favourite from Exosphere ($4.40), Press Statement ($5), Holler ($7.50), Raphael’s Cat ($8.50) and Redzel ($9).