The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Ex­o­sphere takes a gi­ant leap for­ward


HE’S the big­gest horse in the Godol­phin sta­ble – and he might be the big­gest tal­ent too.

Gi­ant colt Ex­o­sphere made a last-to-first swoop to score a bril­liant come­back win in the Group 2 $175,000 Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rose­hill Gar­dens yesterday.

Af­ter reel­ing in his ri­vals and scor­ing com­fort­ably on the line, Ex­o­sphere ended Press State­ment’s un­beaten start to his race ca­reer and stopped the four-race win­ning streak of Japon­isme with real au­thor­ity.

This is the same Ex­o­sphere that had not raced since suf­fer­ing car­diac ar­rhyth­mia when he fin­ished last in the Golden Slip­per in March.

“We were hav­ing trou­ble with Ex­o­sphere’s shins last sea­son be­cause of his size and im­ma­tu­rity,’’ trainer John O’Shea said.

“On Slip­per Day when he struck that firm track, I just think he be­came too anx­ious and that caused the is­sue. By the time we got him back to the sta­ble that night, he was fine.

“Since he has been back in work, he hasn’t been a prob­lem for us. He is grow­ing into that huge frame of his now.’’

O’Shea re­vealed Ex­o­sphere is the big­gest horse at Godol­phin, tip­ping the scales at a mas­sive 600kg – and the colt is still a two-year-old by birth date. The av­er­age for most fully-grown thor­ough­breds is about 500kg.

“We know he is a class horse,’’ O’Shea said.

“We had an aber­ra­tion in the Slip­per but we’ve learnt a lot more about him.”

O’Shea con­firmed Exo- sphere will go straight into the Group 1 $1 mil­lion Golden Rose (1400m) at Rose­hill Gar­dens in two weeks af­ter he swept past Press State­ment ($5) to win by one-and-a-quar­ter lengths with Holler ($11), a sta­ble­mate of the win­ner, do­ing well for third, a half length away.

“I think a lot of credit has to go to the team out at the farm,’’ O’Shea said.

“They’ve pre­pared this colt im­mac­u­lately well and Sam (Clip­per­ton) has come of age. He rode a cool race.’’

Clip­per­ton com­bined with O’Shea to snare both stakes races at the Rose­hill meet­ing af­ter scor­ing on Magic Hur­ri­cane in the Premier’s Cup.

“He is a se­ri­ous race­horse,’’ Clip­per­ton said of Ex­o­sphere.

“With a big weight (59kg), he went past a small but com­pet­i­tive field with a lot of ease. That was only his first-up ef­fort and he has got a lot of im­prove­ment left in him.

“I had to switch across the heels of the two main chances heels, Japon­isme and Press State­ment at the 400m. They had the mo­men­tum so for Ex­o­sphere to pick him­self up and win quite softly on the line was an almighty ef­fort.”

TAB Fixed Odds price as­ses­sors slashed Ex­o­sphere from $9 to $6 equal sec­ond favouritis­m with Press State­ment be­hind $2.70 favourite Van­cou­ver for the Golden Rose.

Tye Ang­land, rider of Press State­ment, is look­ing for­ward to the re­match in two weeks.

“Press State­ment has pro­duced a su­per run,’’ he said.

“He was just a lit­tle bit flat­footed around the bend, but the fur­ther we got in the race, the bet­ter he got.”

 ??  ?? BIG HITTER: Ex­o­sphere beat­ing Press State­ment to win the Run To The Rose in Syd­ney yesterday. Pic­ture: AAP
BIG HITTER: Ex­o­sphere beat­ing Press State­ment to win the Run To The Rose in Syd­ney yesterday. Pic­ture: AAP

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