Australia: Golden boy McDonald takes Rose with Astern

James McDonald

James McDonald (here in Britian) had more Group 1 joy at home

  PICTURE: John Grossick (  

 By AAP/Caryl Williamson/Mathew Toogood 13:37PM 10 SEP 2016 

Report: Australia, Saturday

Rosehill: De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (Group 1) 7f, 3yo, turf

SHEIKH MOHAMMED’S investment in Australian racing has reaped yet another big prize with Godolphin colt Astern (John O’Shea/James McDonald) winning the Golden Rose.

Godolphin won the A$ 1 million race a year ago with Exosphere but both O’Shea and McDonald believe Astern has the scope to go on to even better things.


“He ran the 7f pretty well I thought,” McDonald said. “He might even run a mile. He’s very good. The world’s his oyster.

“He’s the real, real, real deal.”

Astern, the 11-5 favourite, came from the back in the field to dominate the final furlong of Saturday’s feature at Rosehill, beating 17-5 hope Omei Sword by two and a quarter lengths.

“He showed how dominant he is,” O’Shea said. “It’s a team effort to persist on teaching him to be a good horse.

“I’m always learning about this game.”

Astern has only been beaten once when unplaced in the Golden Slipper and used what O’Shea believes is the right lead-up in the Run To The Rose.

“We thought the Run To The Rose was an exceptional form race,” he said.

“If we got everything right we’d give him a chance to do the job for us and he did.”

Bookmakers have been quick to promote him to the top of the Caulfield Guineas market, trimming him from 20-1 to 3-1 for the Group 1 on October 8.

Also on Saturday

Flemington: Makybe Diva Stakes (Group 1) 1m, 3yo+, turf

PALENTINO’S (Darren Weir/Mark Zahra) affinity for Flemington has continued with the Darren Weir-trained horse upsetting his stablemate Black Heart Bart in the Makybe Diva Stakes.


Giving Weir the first one-two Group One finish of his training career, 8-1 shot Palentino unleashed a devastating turn of foot in Saturday’s weight-for-age contest to chase down 21-20 favourite Black Heart Bart and win by a length.

The stablemates drew clear, with He Or She (12-1) another two lengths away third.

Palentino is yet to be beaten across the line at Flemington from four starts but did lose the CS Hayes Stakes earlier this year on protest.

He has now won two Group Ones at Flemington with his first coming in the Australian Guineas in March.

After Saturday’s victory third-up from a spell, Palentino will now be put on a path to the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 22.

“He’s a genuine superstar,” winning jockey Mark Zahra said.

“You’d love the Cox Plate to be here. The way he settled and found the line, there’s no reason why not to go for it. The only downside is the tighter track and up in trip but he’s getting better with racing.”

Horse Racing News | Racing Post

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