Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Fresh off a surprise second behind Mosheen in the Australian Guineas at Flemington, the Anthony Cummings-trained Strike The Stars is ready to tackle the brilliant filly, and a field full of talent like her, on his home turf in the 2012 Randwick Guineas this Saturday.
The only elite level in Australia this weekend, the $500,000 Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) is set to run as Race 6 at 4:20pm on Saturday and has drawn a bumper field of 17 three-year-olds.
While all the talk since the field was released has been on the highly-anticipated clash between Manawanui and Mosheen, Strike The Stars has slipped under the radar somewhat.
Drawn just better than midfield in barrier seven with Hugh Bowman booked for the ride, Savabeel gelding Strike The Stars is looking to do just that this Saturday, strike down the stars.
While Mosheen made history in the Australian Guineas, how she will go racing the Sydney way in a big field will determine whether she can get the job done on Saturday.
Randwick holds no fears for Strike The Stars who last raced there when two and a half lengths away fifth to another Randwick Guineas 2012 rival Doctor Doom in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) during the spring.
“He was very good in Melbourne, and is ready for a mile on his home track now,” Cummings said.
Having improved hugely from their first-up fifth to Rain Affair in the Expressway Stakes (1200m) to his near-last-to-second Australian Guineas performance, Cummings hopes Strike the Stars can improve enough again for Saturday to upset Mosheen who he rates as vulnerable.
“She (Mosheen) was third-up (in the Australian Guineas) and she’d run out of condition at her previous start,” Cummings said.
“They’d been quite firm with her on the track to get her up to the mark for that race.
“You wonder, off that routine, how much improvement she might have back at a mile again, whereas, undoubtedly we will improve given the routine we had going into it.
“Mosheen was just too good for us but it took a great ride, and I think there is more upside to our horse than her.
“You have to remember she had had three runs and went to that race at her peak.”
Cummings was also not-so-quietly confident that drawing barrier seven instead of 13, as he did for the Australian Guineas, will also work in Strike The Stars’ favour.
“It just means he is going to get a fair bit kinder run in the first part than he got last time,” Cummings said.
“He’s not going to have to give the start away that he gave last time.
“He showed in the spring that he is competitive against this group of three-year-olds, and I expect him to run a great race.”
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