The Sportsman Weekend

G1 racing is back where it belongs

- NEIL EVANS @NeilEvansm­ail

YOU beauty. The Group 1 Golden Rose stays home at Rosehill.

Just maybe the cry to beat the ‘lockdown’ race in the ‘Racing Radar’ (September 7) column struck the right chords. After all, where else should high class Rose be but in full ‘Gardens bloom’.

On top of that, for me threeyear-old stakes racing in this country has long been the quality highlight – the ‘Rose’ series I love; and when Melbourne comes along – the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight is race I look forward to the most.

So, what do we make of this Golden Rose (1400m) market countdown?

Yes, I’ve waxed on for months about the dizzy heights star colt Anamoe ($2.00) can reach this preparatio­n and again as a late season three-year-old in autumn.

But I’m starting to feel a little sorry for him after just one dynamic run back.

Don’t a minute think the ‘Fantastic 4’ – Run To The Rose, Golden Rose, Caulfield Guineas and Cox Plate – is not well truly on the radar, but while clear favourite and the one to beat tomorrow, he shouldn’t be jumping any shorter than $2.30.

Strangely, it’s not super talented Remarque ($8.00), or speedy In The Congo ($11.00) that represent the biggest obstacles, rather one of the despised outsiders in Hilal ($41.00) who can run a mighty race.

Back in Sydney third-up, admittedly way up in class, Hilal had nothing much to suit in two Melbourne runs – chasing a hot speed first-up at The Valley before ridden upside down in the breeze at Flemington, never settling yet still boxing on strong.

Ridden stone cold from the outside gate at Rosehill, he can peel off a stunning final 600m.

T MY GOLDEN ROSE TIPS: 1. ANAMOE; 2. Hilal; 3. Remarque; 4. Jamaea

In the Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) for the fillies and mares, don’t give a thought to the extra trip or outside gate stopping blossoming Kiwi mare Entriviere.

Her Group 2 Sheraco (1200m) win at Kembla was top drawer and I’m convinced she’s still on the rise.

We are down to only nine runners in the Pendant under suitable Set Weights and Penalty conditions and being by prolific distance sire Tavistock out of a Golan mare, Entriviere ($2.40) will devour the seven furlongs.

T MY GOLDEN PENDANT TIPS:

1. ENTRIVIERE; 2. Fituese;

3. Vangelic; 4. Nimalee And in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m), it’s strike time for seven-year-old UK-bred Imaging ($4.60) returning to Sydney off a strong closing effort second-up in the Group 1 Makybe Diva (1600m) at Flemington.

Coiled away back in the field from the inside draw, I’m not concerned by a slight retreat in distance, rather buoyed by the fact he can be saved for a final 400m that will one of

most dominant all day.

T MY SHANNON TIPS: 1. IMAGING; 2. Best Of Days; 3. Love Tap

One thing’s for sure, tomorrow’s action is yet another reminder of how far New Soth Wales racing ahead of Victoria.

From the metropolit­an stage to the smallest country circuit,

gap forever widens and none more so than the one that really counts – horse flesh.

And speaking of right price, around $1.30 for Zaaki in a five-horse Group 1 Underwood (1800m) is still generous. He’s more likely a $1.12 shot.

GOOD LUCK

 ?? Pic: Grant Guy. ?? Imaging is Neil’s top pick in tomorrow’s Shannon Stakes at Rosehill Gardens.
Pic: Grant Guy. Imaging is Neil’s top pick in tomorrow’s Shannon Stakes at Rosehill Gardens.
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