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The new, improved version of Lean Mean Machine or the proven class of The Autumn Sun?
Form expert Gary Crispe maintains there is little between the Chris Waller-trained duo and expects them to fight out the finish of the Group 1 $1 million De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow. But Crispe said Timeform-adjusted ratings give a slight edge to Lean Mean Machine over The Autumn Sun with Graff next best.
With five of the last six winners of the Golden Rose coming into the race second-up from a spell and off the Run To The Rose, Crispe said Lean Mean Machine profiles perfectly for the big race.
"Lean Mean Machine showed his two-year-old winter campaign in Brisbane had the desired impact, coming back to racing at three a more mature galloper, running to a new career Timeform peak rating of 117 winning the Run To The Rose,'' Crispe said.
Crispe said The Autumn Sun goes to the Golden Rose after a luckless first-up third to Tarka in the Stan Fox Stakes over 1500m on Run To The Rose day.
"On face value that form does look to be slightly inferior but as the only Group 1 winner in the field, The Autumn Sun deserves respect,'' Crispe said.
"He went through his first preparation undefeated in three starts, culminating in his JJ Atkins win. It takes a special talent to achieve that, ending his two-year-old career with a Timeform rating of 113."
Crispe said The Autumn Sun should have won the Stan Fox Stakes as the colt was badly held up for a run from the 600m. He returned a 106 rating but should improve significantly on that effort in the Golden Rose.
"He is back in trip to 1400m but I don't think that is a disadvantage,'' Crispe said. "Trapeze Artist was unplaced in the Stan Fox last year but rebounded to the Golden Rose."
Crispe said Graff is the "new kid on the block" with three wins from four starts including the San Domenico Stakes before his game second to Lean Mean Machine in the Run To The Rose.
"Graff went to a new career peak Timeform rating in the San Domenico Stakes over 1100m of 117 then came off that figure laststart in the Run To The Rose with a 113 rating,'' Crispe said.
"However, Graff was trapped wide throughout in the Run To The Rose, which did not help his chances, as was Zousain, the pair getting home strongly in the closing stages.
"I feel Graff will be much better suited today and with a lower draw should get a lovely passage in the race. Zousain, who had excellent form at two, showed he has returned to racing in fine fettle with his Run To The Rose fourth and will derive plenty of benefit from the run.''
Article taken from Daily Telegraph, published Friday 21st September 2018, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 59.