Trainer John Thompson is happy just to have a horse among a vintage crop of three-year-olds and insists his star colt Mamaragan can match it with the best of them in Saturday’s Group 2 Run To The Rose at Rosehill.
A mouthwatering selection of 11 horses have been nominated for the $200,000 feature including Golden Slipper winner Farnan, dual Group I victor King’s Legacy, Queensland gun Rothfire and Hawkes Racing star North Pacific.
Thompson will go toe-to-toe with the heavyweights when he saddles up Mamaragan, who he has Golden Rose path before he plans to weigh up a litany of spring options with his young gun.
Among those options is a The Everest berth with Thompson last month telling News Corp he was ‘living in hope’ of getting a call from slot holders for a spot in $15 million sprint.
Twelve months ago the lucrative feature was won by Yes Yes Yes and it is expected a number of three-year-olds will be selected in spots for the race again in 2020 with Rothfire already starting in the miRunners slot.
Farnan and Mamaragan during the barrier trials on the Kensington track at Randwick. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
But Thompson has his sights set on a maiden Group I triumph first with the Golden Rose on the agenda while Mamaragan also holds nominations for the Caulfield Guineas and Cox Plate.
Mamaragan will meet the majority of his Golden Rose rivals this weekend in what Thompson expects will be a memorable affair.
“It is a very good bunch of three-year-old colts and I think they look like be a vintage crop,” Thompson said.
“To have one amongst it is fantastic.
“We don’t know really what we’ve got yet.
“Whether we want to see what we have got to a mile and learn something for next preparation or keep him fresh for the sprints and trying to make him a stallion.”
Mamaragan returned in good order when finishing third in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes behind pacy Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Anders and gun colt Peltzer.
The Wandjina colt settled last in the run but made up good ground late to round out the placings and will be suited by the step up in trip in the Run To The Rose.
Mamaragan wins the Schweppes Skyline Stakes earlier this year. Picture: Jenny Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“He has come through his run the other day extremely well,” Thompson said.
“Stepping up to 1200m really suits us and Nash Rawiller back on who knows the colt really well.
“I think now that we have had a run under the belt we will have a bit more confidence to come out more positive next time to be in the first four or five rather than giving them a good start.
“He has got a high cruising speed so we will try to use it if we can.”
“The 1400m is the aim with him and that is the first grand final but he will improve with the run.”
Mamaragan opened at $8 with bookies for the Run To The Rose.
Originally published asCan this young gun secure Everest berth?
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