Rothfire - Run To The Rose 2020 (G2). Rosehill Gardens. Australia. The TAB Everest 2020

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Rothfire was exceptional, Ole Kirk and North Pacific will be better over further, and Farnan simply went out too fast early.

As a contest, the Group 2 $200,000 Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday was compelling to watch but it wasn’t Rothfire’s brilliant win that was the talking point.

Instead, it was $ favourite Farnan’s blinding early sectionals which resulted in the Golden Slipper winner leading by as much as five lengths mid-race before he got very leg-weary in the straight and finished fifth.

Racing NSW stewards grilled Farnan’s jockey Hugh Bowman at length after the race.

Bowman said he “wasn’t tied down” to specific instructions to lead at all costs on Farnan.

“I had the choice to go forward of Rothfire, I wasn’t even clear of Peltzer which indicated to me that the pace at this stage isn’t frantic,’’ Bowman told stewards.

“At this point here I was not even a length clear of Kerrin (McEvoy on Peltzer) and Jim Byrne is not intent on leading, so I made the choice of leading. Once I committed to go, then you look at Jim Byrne and you can see he wanted to come back.’’

Bowman said once he committed to go forward and lead on Farnan “you don’t switch it on and switch it off.’’

“I made the choice to go, I was going with my horse, I wasn’t driving him,’’ Bowman said.

“Unfortunately my horse being first-up he reacted and just took off, basically.

“He is a leader but I didn’t go out there with a plan to be any more aggressive than usual.

“It was instinctive. Once I made that decision the horse took charge of me and took off.’’

Stewards questioned Bowman if he tried to restrain Farnan once he crossed Rothfire and found the rail.

Farnan was found to have broken 11s in successive 200m splits mid-race and Bowman agreed the Golden Slipper winner was not going to be able to maintain that speed to the finish.

“I think it shows I’m restraining him once I got him into that rhythm,’’ Bowman said.

“It’s not track work. I have got to work with him. I didn’t want to go that quick, obviously.’’

While all this was happening, Rothfire sat off Farnan’s frenetic tempo before sprinting clear and stopping the clock at 1m , breaking Menari’s race record by

Rothfire ($5) raced clear to score a commanding win by 1½ lengths. The Team Hawkes-trained pair of Ole Kirk ($31) and North Pacific ($4) closed fast to finish in the minor placings with a length separating the stablemates.

Stewards adjourned the inquiry into Bowman’s ride to a date to be fixed so they can consider all the evidence and study betting records on the race.
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