Rosehill Racecourse is the host site for the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes.
As of 2003, the race has been 1400 metres, that tricky trip that tests the true sprinters to keep it up for another 200 metres and challenges the milers to get going with 200 metres less turf beneath them.
The Golden Rose Stakes is run under set weight conditions by three-yea-olds. Colts and Geldings carry 56.5 kilos, while the fillies are given 54.5 kilos.
The current prizemoney, as of 2021, is $1 million. In The Congo won the 2021 edition of the race, collecting $580,000 for the win. The son of Snitzel and grandson of Redoute’s Choice, the young colt has made just six starts. After the impressive win, In The Congo finished at the opposite end of the field in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes.
We suspect that In The Congo is one or two good runs away from the breeding shed.
Watch the replay of the 2021 Golden Rose Stakes at the below link.
History of the Golden Rose Stakes
The Golden Rose Stakes was known as the Peter Pan Stakes when it first jumped in 1978. It was held in late August or early September. It is now staged on the fourth Saturday in September.
Peter Pan was a two-time Melbourne Cup winner and certainly deserving of a raced named for him, but the passage to time fades memories and after all, Peter Pan’s Melbourne Cup wins were back in the early 30s.
The race was renamed as the Golden Rose Stakes for 2003 and 2004; the race was demoted from Group 2 all the way down to unlisted, although the prizemoney was boosted to $1 million.
The 2002 winner of the race, Sportsman, received just $91,000 for winning the race as a Group 2. In Top Swing would win in 2003 and earn over $691,000 for the victory.
Listed status returned in 2005. The race went immediately to Group 3 in 2006. After the race was abandoned to the equine influenza outbreak in 2007, it returned in 2008 as a Group 2, where it had been from the debut of the Group classification system in 1979 through 2002.
It became a Group 1 race the very next year of 2009.
The length of the race has changed, but not nearly so many times as the grade changed.
It was 1500 metres, an almost evil trip, from debut through 1986.
The Golden Rose was run over 1350 metres in 1987. It was back to 1500 metres for 1988.
The race shifted to Canterbury Park for the three races staged from 1989 through 1991, when it was stretched to 1550 metres. It returned to 1500 metres for 1992 and stayed that way through 2002.
When the race was renamed in 2003, it was set at the current distance of 1400 metres.
Venue for the Golden Rose Stakes
The race has always been run at Rosehill, with the exception of the three years it was shifted to Canterbury Park.
Rosehill Racecourse opened in 1885.
The premier race held there is the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes for two-year-olds. There are eight other Group 1 races, along with 13 Group 2s and 14 Group 3s, as of late 2021.
The proper name of the course is Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, but unless Chris Waller, who uses the facility as his base, has a pot of basil growing somewhere, there does not seem to be much gardening taking place. He probably has an orchard of money trees on the premises, though.
The shortest Group races staged at Rosehill are the Group 1 Galaxy, The Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes and six Group 3 races, all of which are 1100-metre sprints.
The longest races are the Group 1 Tancred Stakes and the Group 3 N.E. Manion Stakes. Both of those are 2400-metres.
For a 1400-metre race, the gallopers start in a chute opposite the grandstands. That chute will suffice for races of up to 1500 metres, which is a logical explanation for the race being that distance on so many occasions.
Racing History of the Golden Rose Stakes
As a newer race, having just started in 1978, combined with the age restriction, the Golden Rose Stakes still presents an impressive winners list.
As a Principal race and as a Group 2, good young horses were lined up for the race. Even after it was demoted to unlisted, it was still offering the big prizemoney of $1 million and when the race first jumped, it was not long until a $1million dollar winner showed up by the name of Kingston Town.
But, we are getting in front of ourselves by one year if we do not mention Kapalaran, winner of the first race.
She was a mare by Great Britain’s Showdown out of New Zealand’s Better Gleam. She was pretty good in 1978, with four major wins that in addition to the Golden Rose Stakes, were the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes, the Group 1 1000 Guineas and the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes.
The year of 1979 marked the debut of the Group classification system and Kingston Town was right there to capitalise.
He was also the winner of the 1979 Spring Champion Stakes the first year it was run as a Group 1 race. He did most of his major winning, including three consecutive Cox Plates, beginning in 1980, when he was recognised as the Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year.
The 1980 winner was Impish Prince.
We know that he was considered a New Zealand horse, although the majority of his lines were northern hemisphere. We encountered information that Impish Prince won four races, but other than the then Peter Pan Stakes, the other wins must have been insignificant maidens, handicaps and benchmarks.
Best Western won in 1981.
He was a classy one, he was.
There is no telling how good he might have been, because he was sent off after just eight jumps.
Best Western, despite the poor name choice evoking mental images of a cheap motel, won seven of his eight starts before embarking on a new career where he got paid to do what most of us would do for free or for which we might gladly pay.
It is logical that he retired early. He had the pedigree that we often observe when examining Group race winners. He was by Bletchingly, with Biscay as his grandsire and Ireland’s Star Kingdom for a great-grandsire. Those types only race long enough to prove they have inherited something close to the abilities of the gallopers that preceded them. It is risky to race the sort of DNA Best Western carried.
Like Kingston Town, Best Western would win at Group 1 with a victory in the Spring Champion Stakes.
The 1983 winner, Sir Dapper, was another good one.
He made 18 jumps for 13 wins and four placings. Like Kingston Town and Best Western, Sir Dapper won the Group 1 Spring Stakes, but his crowning achievement would have been the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes.
Our next winner was Black Ivory. His Golden Rose Stakes was not another instance of the winner winning the Spring Champion Stakes, but he ran second.
Handy Proverb from 1985 was also better than average. He had Group 1 wins in the Victoria Derby and the Queensland Derby. He won or placed in 14 of his 22 jumps.
A New Zealand horse named Drought won the Golden Rose in 1986 and went on to win the 1987 Group 1 Caulfield Stakes.
Party Mood won in 1989.
He was nothing exceptional, in fact, we only made mention of him for his 73 jumps, qualifying for the imaginary Pro Group Racing Hall of Fame. We also liked his lines, with connections to Vain, Nearctic, Nearco, Wilkes and Hyperion. We typically find geldings when we look at horses with high numbers of jumps, but it appears that he remained entire.
Big Dreams from 1991 won over $1 million, with 12 wins and 15 placings from 53 jumps. He won his first five races, including a Group 3 and a Group 2 race. Next up after winning the Golden Rose, he won the Group 2 Gloaming Stakes, with a third in the Golden Slipper Stakes and a fourth in the Champagne Stakes thrown in for good measure. He never quite broke through at Group 1 level, but he was consistently well placed.
March Hare from 1993 was a good galloper.
He won three times at Group 1 level and was twice second in the All Aged Stakes, second in the Chipping Norton Stakes and Canterbury Guineas, with thirds in the Queen Elizabeth, George Main Stakes and the Rosehill Guineas.
The 1994 winner, Brave Warrior, proved his mettle with multiple wins in Queensland before taking the Golden Rose. He won the Group 2 Gloaming Stakes immediately after, and then turned in seconds in two consecutive Group 1 races. He managed to win over $1 million despite never winning a Group 1 race.
Flying Spur from 1995 won over $2 million from 19 jumps for six wins and eight placings, with Group 1 wins in the Golden Slipper, Australian Guineas and the 1996 All Aged Stakes. He was Australian’s leading sire for 2006/07, producing Group 1 winners galore, including Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time.
On Air from 1997 had a Group 1 win in the AJC Oaks, beating Champagne as revenge for losing to her in the Group 1 Australia Stakes.
Fairway from 1999 was better than many. He won over $2.6 million from just 23 jumps for 10 wins and four placings. He beat Sunline in the Turnbull Stakes when the race was still at Group 2. After winning the Golden Rose, he took out the Gloaming, the Spring Champions Stakes from Shogun Lodge. He won the Canterbury Guineas and beat Shogun Lodge again to win the AJC Derby and Sunline again in the 2000 Turnbull Stakes.
Magic Albert from 2001 was a decent racer, but a better stud. He sired more than 600 stakes winners.
The good gelding Paratroopers was the 2005 winner.
He earned almost $2 million from 21 jumps for nine wins and five placings. His big win was the 2006 All Aged Stakes from Niconero with Shania Dane into third. He was within whiskers of winning at Group 1s in the Caulfield Guineas and the George Ryder Stakes.
A Goldolphin filly named Forensics was the 2008 winner. She won more than $3.5 million from 19 jumps for seven wins and two placings. She won the Golden Slipper Stakes, which helped her bank and she won the Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes a month after winning the Golden Rose. Her final win was the Group 1 Meyer Classic.
Epaulette, the winner from 2012, won his other Group 1 race in 2013 when he beat Sea Siren with Buffering third in the Doomben 10,000. He was a distant second to Black Caviar in her last race in the Group 1 T. J Smith Stakes.
The 2013 winner Zoustar won other Group 1 races by winning the J.J. Atkins as a two-year-old. His other big win from his three-year-old campaign was the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Trapeze Artist from 2017 won over $5.5 million from seven wins and four placings from 20 jumps. He was by Snitzel, with Redoute’s Choice for his grandsire. His other Group 1 wins were the T. J. Smith, All Aged and Canterbury Stakes.
The Autumn Sun won the race in 2018. He won the J.J. Atkins and the Caulfield Guineas that same year, with the Group 1s Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas in 2019 in a season where he was declared the Australian Champion Three Year Old Colt.
The year of 2019 saw Bivouac winning the Golden Rose Stakes.
He won more than $5.6 million, which would have made his sire Exceed And Excel proud. His other Group 1 wins were the Newmarket Handicap and the VRC Sprint Classic.
Old Kirk was the 2020 winner. He is by Written Tycoon, so it comes as no surprise that he was taken from the track after 11 races for three wins and five placings. He made over $2.1 million in that brief career. After winning the Golden Rose, he backed with a win in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.
Ole Kirk’s dramatic win from North Pacific can be seen at the following link.
The Golden Rose Stakes has done a good job at attracting quality gallopers. Even the horses that won when the race was unlisted were good types.
Colts and geldings have had the most success, as it seems that at the age of three, the boys do seem to have an advantage over the girls.
The race attracts a lot of interest because it is the first Group 1 race for three-year-olds of the spring season in New South Wales.
|Year||ATC Golden Rose Stakes Winner|
|2021||In The Congo|
|2018||The Autumn Sun|
|1992||Play Or Pay|