Ratings expert says Rothfire is short of Farnan, but can improve

ONE of Australia’s most respected analysts says Queensland star Rothfire has at least a length to make up on Farnan on two-year-old deeds, but suggests history points to it being quite possible the gap can be bridged this season.

Dominic Beirne has long been regarded as one of Australia’s most astute ratings experts and he thinks the profiles of the respective Group 1 winners sets up for a fascinating clash in Saturday’s Run to the Rose in Sydney.

Dominic BeirneSource:Supplied

“I match-raced Rothfire against Farnan through the winter, leading up to contests like this and at level weights I had Farnan 1.25 lengths ahead of Rothfire,” Beirne said.

“In a pricing sense, I would assess Farnan as having the right to have twice as much chance as Rothfire. So $2.25 versus $4.50 makes very good sense to me in the market, although I’d be more like $2.50 and $5.”

Beirne said he regarded as a potentially tricky betting race as his “computer is thinking a lot of these horses have got patterns to produce a significant PB (today).”

Despite having Farnan rated ahead of Rothfire last season, Beirne said that doesn’t automatically follow it will be the same as three-year-olds.

Hugh Bowman winning his barrier trial at Randwick. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images


“If you wanted to put your money on one or the other likely advancing as a three-year-old, you would probably favour Rothfire given the history of Golden Slipper winners,” he said.

Trainer Rob Heathcote has been a fascinated onlooker this week as analysts around the country debate the merits of Rothfire and how he might measure up.

He acknowledges his horse needs to take another step forward and has seen the necessary signs to give him confidence that will happen.

“I think he has improved, but I have an air of trepidation about me as well. Until you see them do it, you just have that little bit of uncertainty,” he said.

“I am having faith in Jimmy Byrne. He’s as confident as I’ve ever seen him. After his last bit of work, he just said ‘he’s ready.’

“He has placed a lot of faith in the horse.”

Trainer Rob Heathcote and Rothfire posing at Eagle Farm. (AAP Image/Attila Csaszar)Source:News Corp Australia


Daniel O’Sullivan of BetSmart and The Ratings Bureau and a member of the miRunners selection panel that opted for Rothfire in The Everest, has the Queenslander closer to Farnan on deeds to date.

He has Farnan only 0.25L ahead of Rothfire and has them priced closer together than the current market.

“I have the history of Slipper winners returning as three-year-olds in my mind. It’s extremely rare they run up to their Slipper performance on resuming,” he said.

Ladbrokes report Farnan accounts for almost half the current hold on the race, with North Pacific slightly better backed than Rothfire as second pick.

“Recent history is against Farnan and we’d generally be keen to oppose the Golden Slipper winner, but his trials have been electric and he simply has to be respected,” Ladbrokes’ Tom Hackett said.

Originally published asCan Rothfire bridge the Gap?

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