Bren O’Brien



The Rosehill Report – September 24

Bren O’Brien picks out the key factors ahead of Saturday’s Golden Rose meeting at Rosehill.

Rail: True

Track: Soft 5 (Friday)

Weather: Possible rainfall, 2 to 4 mm. 60% chance of rain. Max temperature 21. 

A Golden Rose with a difference

Since being upgraded to Group 1 status 13 years ago, the Golden Rose has become one of the most important three-year-old races in Australia, coronating future kings of the track and stars of the breeding barn. Three of the past five Australian Champion Three Year Old Colts have won this race but this year’s renewal looks a bit different.

Forensics was the last filly to win the Golden Rose in 2008, when it was held in the autumn due to equine influenza, but this year looks as good a chance as any of the girls upsetting the boys.

Fillies occupy three of the top five spots on the market, which is headed by the James Cummings-trained In Secret, who upset the colts in the G2 Run To The Rose last time out.

Fireburn and She’s Extreme are Group 1-winning fillies as two-year-olds and both look capable of improving in their second-up runs and spoiling the long-term stallion value of a few of the colts. Paris Dior is the fourth filly in the field, meaning there are more fillies in this year’s Golden Rose than the previous four editions combined.

Where do you need to be?

The last meeting at Rosehill saw three leaders and three other ‘on pace’ horses win from 10 races, while there were two races where horses came from midfield or worse to win. However, the rail was out 5 metres that day.

The previous meeting where the rail was true was August 27, where five of the 10 winners were on pace, on what looked a fair surface. This rail was also in the True at this meeting last year and on a Good 3 played in favour of leaders, with on-pace horses winning seven races.

Race of the day

Clearly the Golden Rose, with so many questions to be answered, is the main attraction on Saturday. On current form, it looks a battle between the two James Cummings’ chances, the filly In Secret and the colt, Golden Mile.

Both won by clear margins on this track two weeks ago, with In Secret especially impressive coming from just behind the leaders and powering away in the Run To The Rose. Four of the past eight winners of that race have gone on to win this one.  


Tommy Berry on In Secret wins the G2 Run To The Rose. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

The best two-year-old of last season, Fireburn, was four lengths behind In Secret there and while she should improve, it would be a considerable reversal of form to see her turning the tables here. Sejardan (seventh beaten 5.2 lengths) and Political Debate (eighth beaten 6.6 lengths) also come into this race off the Run To The Rose.

In Secret’s stablemate Golden Mile has improved markedly this campaign and romped to a 3.3-length win in the G3 Ming Dynasty at just his third start. He goes up 2.5kg on that win in this set weights race.

The Melbourne factor comes primarily in the shape of Jacquinot, who was brilliant on his return in the G3 McNeil Stakes last month, defeating Aft Cabin, who has won at Group 2 level since.

It's a big day for...

James McDonald

It always seems to be a big day for J-Mac, who is riding at a ridiculous strike rate of around 30 per cent this season and 37.5 per cent in stakes races.

Five of his eight rides on Saturday are favourites, including In Secret and Best of Bordeaux. However, he didn’t ride a winner from his seven mounts at the previous Rosehill meeting on September 10.

The stat

There have been 26 fillies contest the Golden Rose since Forensics won the autumn edition race in 2008. As mentioned, none have won, with four of them, Stripper (2008 spring), Speak Fondly (2015), Omei Sword (2016) and Champagne Cuddles (2017) running second.

Track specialist

Wicklow (Race 3 No.6)

This Chris Waller-trained import has had five victories since coming to Australia and four of them have come at his home track at Rosehill, where he has had six starts.

From the trials

Expat (Race 7 No. 5) was a bit disappointing first-up in the Mona Lisa at Wyong, but was sent back to the trials by Mark Newnham, where she showed plenty of dash to lead-up and win.

Economics (Race 6 No.5), a maiden winner at Scone in May, begins his three-year-old season for Annabel Neasham and looks a likely improver off his dominant trial win at Warwick Farm earlier this month.


Semillion – Not quite up to the mark in two runs this campaign.

Espiona – Such a talent at her best, but was disappointing first-up after getting a good run in transit.

Daumier – One of the best two-year-old colts in the land last season, he was poor when fading from off the pace first-up at Caulfield.

Notable gear changes

Diamel – Gelded

Best Of Bordeaux – Blinkers Off First Time, Visors First Time   

Hawaii Five Oh –  Blinkers First Time

In Secret – Synthetic Hoof Filler First Time

Brosnan –  Blinkers Again

Tristate – Blinkers Off

Undeniable – Blinkers Off



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