In-form filly Speak Fondly can give Gai Waterhouse her first win in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Golden Rose Stakes is only one of two Sydney Group 1 races that Waterhouse hasn’t won, the other being the $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick.
“This race and the Randwick Guineas are the only two Group 1 races run and won in Sydney that Gai is yet to claim,” Waterhouse wrote on her website.
Speak Fondly is racing in outstanding fashion with wins from her last two starts and goes into the $1m feature for the three year olds as one of the favourites at $4.80.
The Northern Meteor filly led all of the way to record a first up win in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 22 and then sat off the pace before scoring a two and three quarter lengths win in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday.
The ease of her win in the Furious Stakes convinced Waterhouse to take on the colts and geldings in the Golden Rose Stakes.
“Speak Fondly continued on her merry way on Saturday winning the second leg of the Princess Series, the Furious Stakes,” Waterhouse wrote.
“The brilliant daughter of Northern Meteor has a date with the Golden Rose Stakes.”
Kerrin McEvoy had been aboard Speak Fondly at her two recent wins but Waterhouse had to look to Hong Kong based jockey Brett Prebble to fill the void when McEvoy elected to ride in Melbourne at the Makybe Diva Stakes Race Day at Flemington.
Prebble and Waterhouse combined in the Autumn to claim a Group 1 victory with the all the way win of Wandjina in the $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7.
The John O’Shea trained Exosphere heads the Golden Rose Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au at $2.90 ahead of Chris Waller’s Group 1 winner Press Statement at $3.60.
Golden Rose Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.90 Exosphere, $3.60 Press Statement, $4.80 Speak Fondly, $12 Shards, $14 Holler, $15 Sebring Sun, $17 Ragesse, $19 Gold Symphony, $31 Let’s Make It Rain