iskander

Golden Rose berths up for grabs


The jostling for berths in the $1 million Golden Rose goes down to the wire in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday.

The McKenzie and Crockett Stakes at Moonee Valley and the Up And Coming and Silver Shadow Stakes at Warwick Farm hold the keys to a start in the first Group One of the season at Rosehill a week later.

Local trainer Matthew Smith has Slow The Flow in the Silver Shadow but will not push her to a Golden Rose start unless she tells him otherwise.

“We’ll see what happens,” Smith said.

“If she happened to come out and win in outstanding fashion then we would think about it.

“But the Princess Series against her own sex is there for her too.

“We’ll just take it race by race.

“It all comes down to how she runs on Saturday.

“But realistically I think for a race like the Golden Rose it takes a more seasoned campaigner.”

THURSDAY

Slow The Flow surprised punters with her win at Randwick on August 7, her second from just three starts.

One person not surprised was Smith who has believed in her ability since chosen to train her by Gerry Harvey.

“She has a fantastic temperament but was a bit slow to mature so we kept her back as an early two-year-old,” Smith said.

“But to see the difference in her now it’s incredible.

“She has really come on unbelievably in the last couple of months.

“If you took a picture of her before her first race at Newcastle in May and one before Rosehill in June and another one now, you would think you were looking at different horses.”

With speedsters Solar Charged and Chance Bye among her opponents, Smith expects Slow The Flow to be suited by the pace and to get a nice position from barrier four.

“It looks like a race where the speed will be on and with barrier four she should be able to get a nice run,” he said.

While Smith isn’t placing too much emphasis on a Golden Rose start, rival trainer Anthony Cummings is more than keen to get Gybe into the field.

Last year’s Gimcrack Stakes winner has raced only once since then and is 33rd in the latest Golden Rose order of entry.

“I’m hoping she can win this week to make next week a possibility,” Cummings said.

“She is a quality filly but she’s borderline for the Golden Rose and that is the reason she is running.”

Solar Charged was posted the $3.25 Silver Shadow favourite on Thursday afternoon ahead of Obsequious at $4.40 while Slow The Flow was at $15 and Gybe $17.

Favourites for the 1400m Golden Rose – Masquerader ($4.60), Toorak Toff ($5) and Squamosa ($6) – are having a week off.

Decision Time, a $13 Golden Rose chance, runs in the Up And Coming Stakes.