Golden Rose contender Mamaragan has lost some lustre in the eyes of punters but not his trainer John Thompson.
The colt has been beaten in two campaign runs, resuming with a distant third to Anders in the San Domenico Stakes over 1100m and following with a sixth to Rothfire over slightly further in The Run To The Rose.
Both races contained runaway leaders with Anders showing sustained speed to score while Farnan went hard and tired behind Rothfire.
Thompson says Mamaragan’s efforts have been better than they appear and the three-year-old is looking for the extra distance of Saturday’s Group One Golden Rose.
“The colt, he’s a good horse. He just needs a race run to suit,” Thompson said.
“Both times this campaign he has just been run off his legs.
“He is looking for further and he will appreciate the 1400 metres.”
With the withdrawal of Farnan from the Golden Rose last week, Rothfire is a clear-cut $2.20 favourite while Mamaragan has drifted to $15.
Hawkes Racing is expected to run its classy pair of Ole Kirk and North Pacific, who filled the placings behind Rothfire in The Run To The Rose and sit high in early markets.
Thompson will also have Sweet Deal in the Group Two Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill and the trainer has been surprised by how well the mare has bounced back from her arduous first up run.
Sweet Deal had to work overtime to cross from a wide draw in the Sheraco Stakes and tired late to finish ninth to Haut Brion Her, who is also among Saturday’s nominations.
Thompson expected Sweet Deal to be feeling the run for several days.
“But man, she is like an iron horse, she never left an oat,” Thompson said.
“She is glowing and bouncing around. She is a tough, seasoned mare I guess.”
There are six stakes races at Rosehill on Saturday with the Golden Rose the highlight.