The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott unleashed a serious contender for the upcoming $1million Group I ATC Golden Rose when progressive Sebring colt Gold Standard scored a bold victory in the Group II ATC Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
Slowly away at his last start when second to Dracarys in the Group III ATC Up and Coming Stakes, Gold Standard (images Steve Hart) jumped better this time and surged forward to take up the lead for Josh Parr.
When challenged by Group I winner The Mission, he was happy to take a sit, but when the business end of the race arrived, Gold Standard quickened impressively to drop that colt and powered clear to win the 1500 metre contest by a length and three-quarters.
"It wasn't necessarily the plan to hand up the lead today but full credit to Josh, he took control of the race," Adrian Bott said.
"I think this is special colt going forward for us – he's thriving, you only had to look in the yard today to see how well he was doing and he ran up to those looks."
The win was a timely one for the Waterhouse and Bott partnership as the stable's main Golden Rose hope, Siege Of Quebec, was withdrawn from the Group II ATC Run To The Rose (1200m) on Friday.
"Siege Of Quebec is just going through a growth phase at the moment so we made the decision to spell and save him for the autumn," Waterhouse said.
A $160,000 Inglis Premier purchase from the Eliza Park draft for Mount Hallowell Stud / Gai Waterhouse Racing / Julian Blaxland, Gold Standard has two wins and two seconds from just four starts and has already won over $185,000 in prizemoney.
The 32nd stakes-winner for Widden Stud's flagship sire Sebring, Gold Standard was bred by Robert Crabtree and is the best of three winners from brilliant Group III winning mare Coniston Gem.
Sebring started the program well at Rosehill with handy five year-old mare Positive Problems winning the first race, while his dual Oaks winner Egg Tart resumed from a spell with a good second in the Group II ATC Theo Marks Stakes.
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