Two three-year-olds have put their hand up as Golden Rose contenders in the Group 3 features at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Kibou was able to show a strong turn of foot in the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes (1300m), while Sweet Ride caused a boilover in the San Domenico Stakes (1100m).
Although being sent out as a $26 hope in the San Domenico, winning jockey Chad Schofield said he went into the race full of confidence, suggesting the Annabel Neasham-trained galloper was “over the odds.”
Short-priced favourite Best Of Bordeaux was trapped wide throughout, so he could only manage fifth, while the winner of The Rosebud, Zoukerino, tailed off to run last, with Queensland galloper Nettuno running second and Swiss Exile back in third.
2022 San Domenico Stakes Replay
“I think he ran well the other day,” Schofield said.
“We had the run (1×1), we peeled out and he quickened up to the leaders to win the race but he just gave up the last little bit and then got a check.
“Today was a similar run. I got him to the outside and he really quickened and sustained it all the way to the line. It was a really good win.
“I knew he'd be fitter for the run. I thought he was probably over the odds. But I thought he would run a lot better than the other day.
“He really impressed today. He beat some really good colts and beat them fairly easily.”
While there wasn't an upset in the Up & Coming Stakes, there were plenty of questions asked about the strength of the race going forward.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Kibou was a dominant two-length winner over the impressive Golden Mile, but that pair out a big gap of over four lengths to the rest of the field which included the likes of Basquiat and Lethal Thoughts.
2022 Up & Coming Stakes Replay
Regan Bayliss, who has partnered the gelding in all five career starts, said he's always been a bit difficult to ride, but there is plenty of talent under the bonnet.
“I knew he was a red hot chance today and he put it together nicely,” Bayliss said.
“He's always been a little bit awkward to ride. He's still got so much improvement. He could be a better horse in the Autumn. A very good effort today and still very untapped. He's going to keep improving.”
Kibou firmed into an $11 chance in the Golden Rose, while online bookmakers have Sweet Ride listed as a $15 hope.