Out of this world: Jockey James McDonald rides Exosphere to win the Roman Consul Stakes. Photo: bradleyphotos杭州龙凤论坛m.auWizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all RacingFollow our Derby Day tips to find a winner
Exosphere has a name that is out of this world and the talent to match but he could quite easily have been something less terrestrial.
Godolphin gatekeeper of names Suzanne Philcox admits the name for the son of Lonhro out of a mare called Altitude caused her more trouble than most.
“I was looking at rising and lifting off but we couldn’t get anything to stick,” she said. “That’s when I went looking to atmosphere and the Greek and this came up; it is quite good for him. The horse makes the name and he has done that.”
The exosphere is actually the outer layer of Earth’s atmosphere.
The colt has certainly been out of this world since turning three – he is unbeaten and the winner of five of seven overall as he heads to Derby day at Flemington, the star of the program.
In Sydney, he won the Run To The Rose and then dominated in the Golden Rose before he blitzed his rivals in record time in the Roman Consul Stakes.
The $1.40 odds bookmakers are offering of another group 1 victory in Saturday’s Coolmore Stud Stakes will probably preclude most from backing the star but they will be able to enjoy it like jockey James McDonald.
The Godolphin-retained jockey rides the majority of the horses for the operation but it is days like Saturday that are special. “When you are involved in the quantity and quality of horse that there are at Godolphin, you are very lucky, but you look forward to the ones that stand out,” McDonald said. “This bloke does. The best thing about him is he is so straightforward to ride, so you can really enjoy it. He is just laid back, after the Golden Rose he was so relaxed that I could get excited and not worry about him being a smart arse and doing something stupid.
“When you get on him it is the best 15 minutes of the day because he is just a machine.”
McDonald will have a busy day at Flemington and other than Exosphere, he will ride Contributer in the Mackinnon Stakes and Etymology in the Victoria Derby for Godolphin, while Fenway will complete his group 1 rides for Lee and Shannon Hope in the Myer Classic.
“She was a nice ride to pick up and if you forget her last run, she is right in it,” McDonald said. “I’m really looking forward to getting back on Contributer, because I haven’t been on him for while.
“I know his form isn’t that great this spring but the bloke who rides his work has told me he has turned the corner in the past couple of weeks and is back like he was in the Sydney autumn.
“If that’s right, we might be in for a good result because they couldn’t beat him in the autumn.”
The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.