Godolphin three year old Sarajevo needs to live up to stable expectations and prove he is a genuine Golden Rose Stakes contender when he lines up in the Group 3 $125,000 MTA NSW Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Sarajevo needs to grab the major portion of the prizemoney in the Run To Rose to help him climb up the order of entry for the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 13.
The Lonhro colt is currently sixty-third on the order of entry list and rider James McDonald knows a win is needed to gain a spot in the Golden Rose Stakes field in a fortnight.
“Obviously it’s a good field, but he has to beat them to be a live chance in the Golden Rose,” McDonald told The Daily Telegraph.
The John O’Shea trained Sarajevo was sent out the favourite at his first run back from a spell and even though he could only finish fourth to Scissor Kick in the Listed $100,000 The Rosebud (1200m) at Randwick on August 9, McDonald was happy with the run.
“I thought his first-up run was excellent, and obviously the race didn’t go to plan as well as I hoped,” McDonald said.
“He over-raced in the early stages, he got no luck, but he’s only finished a length off them.”
The Rosehill track was still rated a heavy 9 on Friday morning and McDonald can see this as a question mark but is confident that Sarajevo will be able to get through muddy conditions.
“The only question mark will be the track on Saturday. He’s by Lonhro, and they normally get through it. He’s not in the Golden Rose yet, so Saturday really is ‘D-day’ for him,’’ McDonald said.
O’Shea will have only two runners in the Run To The Rose after scratching Ghibellines because of the wet track and will saddle up Kumaon as well as Sarajevo.
Sam Clipperton will take over from Kerrin McEvoy on Kumaon who has been placed on a heavy track when second to Time For War in the Group 2 $175,000 Bowermans Office Furniture Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Sarajevo is marked as a $7 chance in the market order for the Run To The Rose with Ladbrokes.com.au while Kumaon is longer in the betting at $15.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Almalad has been rated the early $3.70 favourite ahead of the Team Hawkes trained Nostradamus at $5.50, Brazen Beau from the powerful Chris Waller stable at $6 while Hallowed Crown, prepared by Bart and James Cummings, is marked at $7.50.
Almalad also shares the top spot in the Golden Rose Stakes market order at $6 with the Peter Moody trained Bring Me The Maid while Sarajevo is marked at $11 alongside of Scissor Kick and Washington Heights.