The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Exosphere takes a giant leap forward

- RAY THOMAS

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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