Trainer Anthony Cummings has ruled out a tilt at June’s 2012 Queensland Derby for Strike The Stars following the gelding’s fourth-place finish in Saturday’s Group 1 South Australian Derby.
Previously rated as fourth favourite to win the Group 1 three-year-old event, the son of Savabeel will now head to the paddock for a spell before resuming in the spring.
The talented three-year-old has shown plenty of potential this year, with highlights coming in the form of a runner-up finish in the Australian Guineas and a fourth-place effort in the Australian Derby.
Cummings said the spring target will be the Emirates in what will be a light campaign before heading towards the prestigious Doncaster Mile next autumn.
“We made a decision in pushing to Adelaide to give him a lighter spring as a trade off for doing that. He’ll probably have two runs in the spring and he’ll be aimed at the Emirates on the last day at Flemington,” Cummings said.
“Then we have a shot at the Doncaster with him in the autumn and then go from there to a more traditional staying program with him as a five-year-old.”
Cummings hopes he will then be race-hardened enough to push towards a 2013 spring campaign, suggesting it would be too tough for a four-year-old to compete against a quality group of experienced imports this year.
“With all the imports coming out, the local four-year-olds are going to find it tough against the older seasoned stayers in the major staying events,” Cummings said.
“If I’m going to take him to those races it’ll be a year later.”
He is the second major pull-out of the Queensland Derby in the past couple of days, with early favourite Fat Al also headed to the paddock while South Australian Derby winner Zabeelionaire is another unlikely starter.
The Queensland Derby is one of the feature events of the Brisbane Winter Carnival that kicks off this weekend with the Group 1 BTC Cup.
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