Australia: A Golden Rose For Godolphin?

The Godolphin global juggernaut, which captured four million-dollar races in three countries last weekend, targets the same purse this Friday night at Sydney’s Rosehill Racecourse. The Group 1 Golden Rose has attracted a field of 17 newly-turned 3-year-olds, including a trio carrying the ubiquitous “Godolphin blue.” The seven-furlong Golden Rose is one of five stakes on a Rosehill card which gets underway at 9:55 p.m. Eastern.

Barely after the dust settled from the heroics of Modern Games and Mysterious Night in Toronto, Nations Pride in New York and Anamoe in Sydney, Godolphin will furnish the top two horses in Golden Rose wagering. In Secret (2-1) has three wins and an unlucky second from four career starts. The filly comes off a victory in the Run to the Rose (watch replay), a prime example of a “key prep” with eight of the last ten Golden Rose winners having contested that race.

In Secret’s popularity was cemented by the engagement of champion jockey James McDonald, who rode five winners last Friday night and is hitting at a 30% clip since the new season began on Aug. 1. Golden Mile (5-1) has two wins and an excellent second (against a bias) in his three career starts. The colt was sired by Godolphin’s 2016 Golden Rose winner, Astern. The “blue army” also entered Daumier (40-1), a longshot winner at G1 level last season who did little in his seasonal debut.

Beyond Godolphin, the race features last season’s champion 2-year-old. Fireburn is the most experienced horse in the field with eight races under her belt and, as a dual G1 winner (including the Golden Slipper, the world’s richest juvenile race), is also the best credentialled. She’s Extreme developed into Fireburn’s biggest rival last season, ultimately defeating the champion in their final clash. Both fillies are quoted at 10-1 for Friday night’s Golden Rose, and each did enough in their 3-year-old debuts to warrant consideration second-up.

However, there is a sobering historical counterweight to the positive profiles of In Secret, Fireburn, and She’s Extreme: fillies have an abysmal record in the Golden Rose, winning only one of the 19 runnings. Combining this with the aforementioned Run to the Rose stat, I recommend considering the colts who exited that key prep race: Best of Bordeaux (12-1), Sejardan (25-1), Political Debate (60-1) and Promitto (35-1). Of these, Best of Bordeaux is cross-entered (see below) and my preference is Sejardan. A winner of three from six starts, this colt had support when luckless in the Golden Slipper last March, gives every indication of enjoying his first race beyond six furlongs, and is 2-for-2 second run off a layoff.

The Golden Rose (Race 8 of 10) bears watching as a future form reference. Last year, the favorite and runner-up was none other than Anamoe, whose most recent of four subsequent G1 wins came last weekend for Godolphin. Fourth home in 2021 was Artorius, who finished third in this year’s G1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Yes Yes Yes parlayed a second-place finish in 2019 with victory in The Everest, the world’s richest turf race which will be run in Sydney on Oct. 14. The Everest is conducted under a slot-holder format and, with six slots still open, the Golden Rose will be keenly observed and evaluated.

Friday night’s supporting stakes are:

G3 Colin Stephen Quality (Race 4), a traditional prep for the G1 Metropolitan Handicap on September 30. Both races are at 1-1/2 miles.

Heritage Stakes (Race 6), for 3-year-olds at 5-1/2 furlongs. Best of Bordeaux, a 12-1 shot for the Golden Rose, is more likely to contest the Heritage, where he is 9-5 favorite with James McDonald listed to ride.

G2 Golden Pendant (Race 7), for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

G2 Shannon Stakes (Race 9), for 3-year-olds and up at 7-1/2 furlongs; won last year by a Chris Waller-trained 40-1 shot.

The Rosehill card (AUS-A) will be broadcast live on FanDuel TV this Friday night (First Post: 9:55 p.m. ET / 6:55 p.m. PT) alongside cards from Newcastle (AUS-B), Gold Coast (AUS-C) and Belmont (AUS-D). All races will be live-streamed in HD on the new Sky Racing World and major ADW platforms such as TVG, TwinSpiresXpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWagerHPIbet, and AmWager. Wagering is also available via these ADW platforms. Fans can get free access to live-streaming, past performances and expert picks on all races at

About Michael Wrona

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Michael Wrona has called races in six countries. Michael’s vast U.S. experience includes; race calling at Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park, Arlington and Santa Anita, calling the 2000 Preakness on a national radio network and the 2016 Breeders’ Cup on the International simulcast network. Michael also performed a race call voiceover for a Seinfeld episode called The Subway.

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