By Brad Gray At Rosehill Gardens
Menari further cemented his claim as Sydney's benchmark three-year-old sprinter with a dominant display in the $200,000 Group Two Run To The Rose (1200m).
The scratching of Siege Of Quebec afforded Josh Parr the opportunity to roll forward and sit outside the leader Perast before working through his gears to hold off the chasing Pariah.
It was Parr’s third Group Two victory of the day having already won the Theo Mark Stakes on Deploy, who broke another track record, and the Stan Fox Stakes on Gold Standard, however, the jockey’s signature grin was that touch wider when he fronted the media to speak about Menari.
“Look at the size of the horse. It is just phenomenal to ride an animal like this. His turn of foot is second to none,” Parr gushed.
“I banged him up outside of the leader simply because of the draw. I had to make a decision. I couldn’t come out half-hearted and linger around at the risk of being posted wide so I decided to go forward.
“What a phenomenal day. I drove here with my Dad and I said, I can ride three winners today and I’ve only got three rides. My Dad is a very quietly spoken man. He replied with, ‘let’s hope so’.”
The hulking three-year-old son of Snitzel will now tackle the $1m Group One Golden Rose on September 23 for which he is now the $2.60 favourite with TAB.
“I think his ability will take him a hell of a long way with the 1400m however there are a few little things in his game which says to me he’s a 1200m horse but don’t write him off in the Golden Rose just yet,” Parr said.
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Gerald Ryan didn’t flinch when tossing Menari’s name alongside his sire Snitzel, Snitzerland and Rubick, before revealing his recent trackwork was as good as he has ever seen from one of his horses.
“The way he worked last Friday morning, I reckon there’s only been two other horses I’ve clocked sectionals as quick as him and that’s been Chautauqua and All Too Hard when they were flying. He burnt the track,” Ryan said.
Despite not yet having a spot confirmed in The Everest, his win prompted TAB to also wind Menari’s odds in from $11 to $6 for the $10 million sprint feature and although Ryan said he has little doubt that Menari could do it, the Golden Rose comes first.
“It’s entirely up to George (Altomonte). When I mentioned it to him he said get over the Group One first and then we’ll worry about it after,” said Ryan.
Meanwhile, Blake Shinn still holds hope that Pariah can turn the tables on Menari over 1400m when they clash again in the Golden Rose while Kementari pleased Kerrin McEvoy in finding the line to run fourth.
“He travelled beautifully but Menari had 1kg difference. In saying that, full credit to the winner he was too good on the day, but level weights at 1400m in the Golden Rose, it’s going to be an exciting race,” said Shinn.
McEvoy said of Kementari, “I was just guided by how he jumped and had a decision to make as to whether I went forward or came back and get some cover. He couldn’t have done much more, no doubt he’s going to be suited by 1400m and further.”