Starcraft colt Star Witness won the Blue Diamond Stakes as a two-year-old last year and then became a multiple elite level champion when they took out the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day during a highly successful spring campaign.
Last start Star Witness ran second to super sprinter Black Caviar in the Patinack Farm Classic before being spelled.
Making their return in the 2011 Manfred Stakes on Saturday, Star Witness has come up trumps with the inside running from barrier one in the eight horse field and looks hard to beat.
O’Brien is hoping a strong first-up run by Star Witness on Saturday will give him a winning start to the autumn.
Star Witness is heading towards the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5.
O’Brien has been forced to look towards the mile features instead of the sprints this autumn carnival due to the dominance of the mighty Black Caviar in the shorter showdowns.
Luxbet have Star Witness as the clear $5.50 favourite in their 2011 Australian Guineas markets.
Other Manfred Stakes hopefuls that have claims on Saturday include Peter Morgan’s consistent General Nediym gelding Dusty Star (barrier five), the Mark Kavanagh-trained son of Street Cry Liveandletdie (barrier four), Peter Moody’s promising filly Sayahailmary (barrier three) and the Dean Lawson-trained Mr Chard (barrier six) also first-up after winning the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes at Flemington last start on Derby Day.
Dusty Star, a last start winner by 2 ½ lengths at Flemington on January 15, is set to follow a similar campaign as Star Witness.
They will next contest the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on February 19 after the Manfred with hopes of making the Australian Guineas field.
The 2011 BMW Manfred Stakes will run as Race 4 at Caulfield on Saturday set to start at 2:50pm (AEDST).
Bookmark us here at Races.com.au to view the exclusive Caulfield race tips including those for the Manfred Stakes later in the week.
Luxbet will open betting on all the Caulfield races shortly, so make sure you have your account open with this premier online bookie to clean up this autumn!
2011 Manfred Stakes Field, Barriers & Weights
|#||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rating|
|1||STAR WITNESS||Danny O’Brien||Steven Arnold||1||59||113|
|2||MR CHARD||Dean Lawson||Craig Williams||6||59||97|
|3||MISTER MONEYPENNY||Shane A Edwards||Jarrad Noske||8||57||76|
|4||DUSTY STAR||Peter Morgan||Michael Walker||5||56.5||77|
|5||BULLBARS||Peter Snowden||Mark Zahra||7||56.5||78|
|6||LIVEANDLETDIE||Mark Kavanagh||Damien Oliver||4||55.5||72|
|7||ENJIN NUMBER NINE (NZ)||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||–||2||55.5||68|
|8||SAYAHAILMARY||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3||54.5||78|
Photo courtesy (c) Taron Clarke Photography