Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Anthony Cummings’ Australian Guineas runner-up Strike The Stars will be out to improve on two disappointing recent runs and take down the favourites in the 2012 Australian Derby at Randwick Racecourse this Saturday.
One of three elite level features at Royal Randwick this weekend the $1.5 million ATC Australian Derby (2400m) field features 13 smart three-year-olds including Savabeel gelding Strike The Stars.
A winner of just one of their 11 career starts to date having taken out last year’s Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill, Strike The Stars looked set for big things when they ran a surprise second-up second to Mosheen in the Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington early last month.
They failed to fire again when seventh to Mosheen next start in the Randwick Guineas (1600m) in Sydney and were last seen crossing three and a half lengths away fifth behind Laser Hawk in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 31.
Strike The Stars will come up against Laser Hawk, as well as Rosehill Guineas runner-up Ocean Park and third placed Kiwi filly Silent Achiever, when they run in the Australian Derby this Saturday.
While well beaten in their last two, Cummings remains confident that after drawing ideally on the rails and Craig Williams taking over riding duties Strike The Stars can improve enough to challenge the top elects in the classic.
Saturday will be Williams’ first ride on the youngster, Strike The Stars having been ridden by four different jockeys in as many starts this time in, most recently by Blake Shinn ion the Rosehill Guineas.
“Blake (Shinn) elected to push forward into the race (the Rosehill Guineas) at the first furlong and he finished getting caught three deep for the trip,” Cummings said.
“Three deep facing the breeze for a mile and a quarter is never much fun.
“His effort in the circumstances was very good.
“Hopefully with a bit more luck in running this time he’ll be more forward and in the finish.”
Cummings is happy with the way Strike The Stars came through the Rosehill Guineas and was also pleased with their work since then.
“All his gallops since then have been excellent, his work this morning was very good and he’s pulled up nice and clean in his wind,” Cummings said on Tuesday.
“He’s ready for the mile and a half and ready to run his best race.”
Australian Derby betting at bookmaker.com.au is clearly led by Silent Achiever and Laser Hawk who share favouritisim paying $3.60 each.
Further down the Australian Derby odds is $18 chance Strike The Stars, a juicy bet to make if Cummings’ predictions of improvement prove true.
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