Weather the key for Masquerader

Masquerader could be another high-profile defector from the Run To The Rose if Sydney’s wet weather continues this week.

Gerald Ryan has already announced topweight Hinchinbrook will not run in protest at the 59.5kg he would have to carry.

That leaves Masquerader with the number one saddlecloth with 58kg but trainer David Payne says he will not risk the colt on a track worse than slow.

“Masquerader won’t run if it’s worse than a slow 6 or maybe 7,” Payne said.

“He won’t run on a heavy track and if he doesn’t run we’ll apply to give him a gallop between races at some stage.

“There are no worries if he misses the Run To The Rose.

“He’s fit enough to go into the Golden Rose first-up.

“We did that with Stripper a couple of years ago and she only got beaten a nose.”

The Group Three Run To The Rose (1300m) at Rosehill is the lead-up to the $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) at the same track two weeks later.

Masquerader was considered one of the leading contenders for this year’s Golden Slipper but was withdrawn before acceptances when he pulled a muscle at trackwork.

Stripper also missed the Slipper when she developed a hoof abscess on the eve of the 2008 race.

She made her return in that year’s Golden Rose where she was pipped by Duporth.

If Masquerader doesn’t run, the Tim Martin-trained Group One-placed Sasa will be topweight with 56kg but she is also doubtful.

“She’s only 50-50 depending on the weather,” Martin said.

The filly did not run in the Golden Slipper but ran a close second to Skilled in the Champagne Stakes three weeks later.

Gai Waterhouse has no qualms about the conditions for the unbeaten Squamosa who has won both his starts on heavy tracks.

“He’s fabulous and the wet track is fabulous too,” she said.

Payne is also likely to have just one runner, Winter King, in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) where he will be up against Hinchinbrook.

“Winter King will definitely run, he loves the wet,” Payne said.

“But Centennial Park doesn’t so he will go to another race.”

Payne also nominated Cardinal Virtue for the Starlight.

Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily remains favourite for the Golden Rose ahead of Hinchinbrook and Squamosa.

Crystal Lily is scheduled to make her season return in the Quezette Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.