Menari Retains Favourtism in Golden Rose Despite Wide Draw

There is nothing like giving away your racing strategy, such as jockey Josh Parr did when speaking about his mount Menari in the upcoming Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400 m) at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse this weekend.

Menari is a solid favourite, despite drawing the 11th barrier for the $1 million right-handed race. Speaking with journos, Parr said, “I’m ok with it, it’s better than (barrier) one put it that way,” Parr said. “He’s such a big-striding horse and he appreciates a bit of room. He’s shown his versatility in his two runs this preparation. I’m not giving anything away but he’s the sort of horse that I could lead on him, I could sit fourth or fifth, I could sit midfield or I could sit last.”

Those possibilities touch all the bases, eh Mr. Parr?

Run at set weights, colts and geldings carry 56.5 kg and fillies haul 54.5 kg, although that slight advantage has permitted only one female to ever win the race, that being Godolphin’s Forensics in 2008. She won in the year when the STC moved the race, skipping the spring of 2007 due to the equine influenza outbreak. The race was known as the Peter Pan Stakes up until 2003, which was first run in 1978 and won by Kingston Town in 1979.

There has never been a repeat winner, which is not surprising, seeing that the race is restricted to three-year-olds and as they say, you are only young once.

The Golden Rose used to be run at Canterbury before being moved to Rosehill in 1992.

Menari is coming off a win in the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200 m) on the same course, which has been a remarkable source of form over the past decade or so.

Parr, oddly, said that he does not think Menari is the best horse in the race, just the best he has ever ridden.

Menari, while still the favourite, has lengthened from $1.90 to $2.00 as a result of the wide draw, but only Pariah ($6) and Merchant Navy ($7.50) are ins single digits.

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