Gai Waterhouse has six Golden Slippers but no Golden Rose.
Gold Standard, a colt on the rise, could change that at Rosehill on Saturday.
Waterhouse is yet to win a Golden Rose but last-start Group Two winner Gold Standard represents the stable’s latest chance to rectify that anomaly.
Gold Standard won the Stan Fox Stakes over 1500m on September 9 at Rosehill on the same day Menari confirmed Golden Rose favouritism with a dominant win in the traditional lead-up, the Group Two Run To The Rose (1200m).
Program changes this year meant the Stan Fox was moved to before the Golden Rose instead of after and co-trainer Adrian Bott said the stable believed that was the right way to go with Gold Standard.
“That was very appealing for us,” Bott said.
“This horse will get over ground – a mile to 2000 metres in time – so we weren’t afraid to step him up to the 1500 metres straight away.
“We thought a strong 1500 then back to the 1400 would be beneficial for him going into a strong Golden Rose.
“We know he’ll see out a strong trip.”
Gold Standard has two wins and two seconds from four starts.
He broke his maiden at his second start at Canterbury in August, then was a close second to Dracarys in the Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) before his 1-3/4-length win in the Stan Fox.
“He’s doing such a phenomenal job. He’s a really exciting horse for the stable going forward,” Bott said.
“He’s doing all this in his first racing preparation so he can be forgiven for doing a few things wrong in his first couple of starts.”
Bott said Gold Standard, who jumps from barrier 10 of 14, seemed to put it all together in the Stan Fox which resulted in an impressive win.
“He seems to be taking a lot of improvement and confidence with racing,” the co-trainer said.
“Hopefully he’s fully furnished now going into Saturday’s race because he’ll need to take that next step again to beat these other colts.
“But we’re very happy with where he’s at. He’s just thriving.”
Josh Parr rode both Menari and Gold Standard to their Group Two wins on September 9 and sticks with the Gerald Ryan-trained favourite.
Tommy Berry will make a flying visit from Hong Kong to ride Gold Standard.