David Hayes has a very good reason in taking progressive three-year-old Great Esteem to Rosehill Gardens in Sydney on Saturday. “He’s on trial for the Golden Rose, with an eye to the Spring Champion Stakes as well,” Hayes told Racing Network.

At just his second race start as a two-year-old, Great Esteem ran third to Twilight Royale in the Group 2 $220,000 VRC Sires Produce Stakes at Flemington.

“I wanted to run him over 1400-metres on good ground and there was nothing in Melbourne for him, so he’s gone to Sydney,” Hayes said today. “If he wins or runs very well he’ll go to the Golden Rose.”

Hayes said he felt the horse was a good stayer in the making.

“I don’t think we’ll really see the best of this horse until he gets to 2000-metres. He’s more likely to really come into his own when he gets to the Norman Robinson and the Derby in Melbourne,” Hayes said.

He did leave the door open to stay in Sydney if his form warrants it.

“We’ll keep an eye on the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) if he’s going well that way,” he said.

Great Esteem is marked a $12 chance in early fixed-odds markets.