Stan Fox 2012 Victoria Derby Stepping Stone for Fiveandahalfstar

After a credible run at Canterbury on Wednesday, stayer-in-the-making Fiveandahalfstar will back-up in this Saturday’s Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill as they continue on a campaign targeting the Victoria Derby 2012 in Melbourne at the end of the year.

Anthony Cummings’ Hotel Grand three-year-old may still be a maiden after 10 starts but their trainer is confident this season Fiveandahalfstar can progress into a genuine chance for the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Saturday November 3.

Yesterday Fiveandahalfstar ran sixth to Rebel Dane in a 1250m handicap at Canterbury, their performance in which was enough to convince Cummings they’re worthy of a shot at Golden Rose runner-up Albrecht and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Kabayan in the $250,000 Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

“I’ll back him up (in the Stan Fox). I was really pleased with his run today,” Cummings said on Wednesday.

“He got back and was still a bit green. He’s still got his L-Plates on but he’s a really nice horse with good ability.

“He’s still learning and still getting fit and I think the back-up at this stage of his preparation will certainly help him play a part in the Spring Carnival in Melbourne.

“He was still a bit on the new side today.”

2012 Victoria Derby nominations were released earlier this week, Fiveandahalfstar one of 80 three-year-olds making up the early entries for the spring classic.

“He’s nominated for the Derby and he’s a big, strong gelding and is coping with the whole deal so I would have no hesitation in running a horse like that in the Derby if he shows his form warrants it,” Cummings said.

In the Stan Fox Stakes odds for this weekend Fiveandahalfstar is a $61 roughie, markets led by the Peter Snowden-trained Albrecht ($2).

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