Jockey Steven Arnold has been to Royal Ascot and won, and now he believes he is on the verge of doing it again.
Arnold, who won the King’s Stand Stakes in 2009 aboard Scenic Blast, believes he can do it again, this time aboard Star Witness.
Arnold has been rapt with the work of the Starcraft colt, saying that he was ‘really happy with the way the horse has been going’.
“I thought he went super. He galloped really well – nice and sharp. You want to go to these races thinking the horse is going pretty good and that’s the feel he gave me. If he turns up 100 per cent and runs to his ability he’ll go well,” said Arnold.
The colt who is trained by Danny O’Brien will be stabled with Peter Moody’s Hinchinbrook, who is also undertaking an overseas odyssey.
O’Brien has declared the horse is in career best shape ahead of the Royal Ascot meeting.
“He’s matured even further from what you saw in the spring and autumn. I’m expecting him to go there and be very competitive,” said O’Brien.
British Bookmakers have installed Star Witness as a $9 favourite for the King’s Stand (1000m) on June 14, while he is at $8 to win the Golden Jubilee Stakes (1200m), which will also be at Royal Ascot on June 19.
O’Brien said there were excuses for Star Witness’ run in the Newmarket at Flemington, which he described as the worst of the horses career.
“He just wasn’t a happy horse,” said O’Brien who is fully expecting to add to the list of Australians on the honour role at Royal Ascot which includes Scenic Blast, Miss Andretti, Takeover Target and Choisir.
“You’ve got to say that his best is very good. His Blue Diamond win was very good, his Coolmore Stud win was very good and his Patinack run behind Black Caviar was very good. I’m sure that he can reproduce at least that when he gets over there”