Blink­ers dic­tate Long Leaf’s Rose chances

The West Australian - - SPRING RACING -

David Hayes hopes the ad­di­tion of blink­ers and a dry track will bring out the best in Long Leaf in the Golden Rose (1400m) at Rose­hill on Satur­day.

Long Leaf will be Lind­say Park’s sole rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the Group 1 fea­ture for three-yearolds.

Af­ter run­ning on strongly over 1100m at Caulfield on Au­gust 18, Long Leaf was switched to Syd­ney to con­test the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) on Septem­ber 8.

A heavy track thwarted the colt’s chances and he fin­ished eighth of the 11 run­ners be­hind Lean Mean Ma­chine.

Long Leaf per­formed well in Syd­ney in the au­tumn, fin­ish­ing sixth to Esti­jaab in the Group 1 Golden Slip­per (1200m) at Rose­hill and fourth to El Do­rado Dream­ing in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Pro­duce Stakes (1400m) at Rand­wick.

His only flop was when he failed to run out the 1600m when ninth in the Group 1 Cham­pagne Stakes be­fore a spell.

Hayes is con­fi­dent Long Leaf can turn around his poor show­ing in the Run To The Rose.

“He’s not good on the wet,” Hayes said. “He’ll im­prove out of sight with the blink­ers back on and get­ting to the 1400m.

“He’s worked well in the blink­ers and they’ve worked won­ders plenty of times be­fore on race day. I’m con­fi­dent of a very good run so long as it’s dry, but if it’s wet then I prob­a­bly wouldn’t even run him.”

The Kris Lees-trained Graff holds favouritism at $4 for the Golden Rose ahead of The Au­tumn Sun ($6) and Lean Mean Ma­chine ($7), both from the Chris Waller sta­ble.

Waller ex­pects the pair to be joined by Zou­sain, who de­vel­oped a tem­per­a­ture last Mon­day.

The colt fin­ished fourth in the Run To The Rose and is at $9 for the Golden Rose, which his sire Zous­tar won in 2013.

Pic­ture: Sharyn Walker/Western Ra­cepix

Great Again, rid­den by Mitchell Pate­man, scores his fifth straight win at Bel­mont on Satur­day.

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