The Golden Rose has quickly become a top class Group 1 race for 3 year olds and the win of Astern on Saturday has only strengthened that reputation. He clearly heads this week's WPR rankings, which also saw a new Darren Weir star in Palentino establish his G1 WFA talent.
ASTERN – 108.7
This was a massive performance by Astern, running to a big new career peak up from his 106 rating win in the Run To The Rose. The quality of this performance puts him up there with the likes of Pierro, All Too Hard, Sepoy and Atlantic Jewel as a seriously elite 3YO.
The pace of the race was even enough up front, certainly not strong but it wasn’t slow by any standard. The strength of Astern’s closing sectionals over the last 800m suggests that 1600m in the Caulfield Guineas will be no problem at all. In all likelihood he’ll be able to rate below 108.7 and still win the race.
PALENTINO – 106
He’s emerged as a genuine G1 WFA horse with this win, going ahead just over 2 lengths on his previous peak as a 3YO. He ran good time with excellent sectional figures… his speed between the 600m and 200m was outstanding! With Darren Weir’s ability to get his horses to maintain their form well into the preparation, Palentino could be in for a big campaign. He looks to have a race like the Underwood at his mercy and that will give us a good guide on his potential to get the 2040m of the Cox Plate.
BLACK HEART BART – 104.4
On the surface it may seem disappointing that he was rolled as an even money favourite, but he went ahead from his 103 first up rating and has career peaks of 106 and 105.6… so he was only 0.6 to 0.8L below his absolute best. That’s hard to knock racing 2nd up over 1600m.
OMEI SWORD – 104.2
She lost absolutely no admirers running 2nd to Astern and going ahead to a new peak, up from her 103 rating first up. That doesn't include the fact that she was held up from the 400m to 250m, which probably prevented her from rating a little higher. Make no mistake, Omei Sword is right on track towards elite status herself, especially when you consider that we probably won’t see her best until she gets to 1600m – 2000m. She’s a very exciting prospect!
IMPENDING – 103.8
The stable talked up his chances in the Golden Rose saying he was a better horse that he’d shown so far and he well and truly delivered. His 103.8 is a massive improvement on his previous peak of 96. He did get all the favours in the run and had every possible chance, but it was still a quality performance in a very strong race.
DIVINE PROPHET – 103.2
He was a little unlucky in the run having to ease across heels in the early part of the straight and he did run the 2nd best closing sectionals in the race behind Astern, so there’s certainly some merit in the performance. That said, I feel that right on the line he may have peaked and the run through after the line certainly wasn’t flattering for him. It will be very interesting to see his next run… I’m not convinced he has much upside.