Trainer Kris Lees is relieved that Graff has drawn a handy barrier in the 2018 Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Graff had a horror run from the outside barrier when runner up to the Chris Waller trained Lean Mean Machine in the Group 2 $200,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on September 8 and Lees welcomes the change of luck.
“Pretty vital I feel, it is a very competitive race,” Lees told Sky Racing.
“As you have seen at his most recent run barriers play a big part and he looks to get the right type of run on paper and I can’t be happier with the horse.”
Graff was the winner of his first three starts which included a victory in the Group 3 $150,000 Singapore Airlines San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 25 before his second in The Run To The Rose.
Lees is happy with the way Graff has come through his last start and said that the Star Witness colt is spot on to take on his rivals in the Golden Rose Stakes.
“He hasn’t gone backwards. He improved out of that first up run and I thought his run the other day was terrific,” Lees said.
“He has maintained his form and he has tightened up a little bit more so I think he is in the right condition to go into a 1400m Group 1 race.”
Jason Collett will continue his association with Graff and expects the colt to get a nice run from the good barrier.
“It’s a good opportunity for him, he has a better gate and a better track surface. The 1400m will be okay so it’s a nice race for him,’’ Collett said.
Graff has been installed the $3.50 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au since the final field for the Golden Rose Stakes was released on Tuesday with the three Chris Waller trained colts next in the betting with The Autumn Sun at $4.50, Lean Mean Machine at $6 and Zousain at $8.
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