A possible start in next Saturday’s 2012 Victoria Derby is now on the cards for Anthony Cummings’ promising Hotel Grand three-year-old Fiveandahalfstar after their three length romp at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney on Cox Plate Day.
The gelding come off a good win at Canterbury 10 days ago and caught the eye with their all-the-way victory in today’s $85,000 Sportingbet Handicap (1800m).
Ridden to perfection allowed to roll along by Peter Robl, Fiveandahalfstar ($3.80) had an easy three lengths to spare on the line from Rowie ($4) while the David Hayes-trained Bradman ($4.80) crossed a close third.
“He relaxed beautifully today and it was good to see him finish it off,” stable foreman Barry Smith said.
“He’s always had ability and he’s going to get better as he gets older.”
There is now a chance Fiveandahalfstar will back up in the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington next Saturday on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the decision on whether to accept them for the Victoria Derby final field to be left up the their trainer.
“I’m not sure what Anthony is going to do with him,” Smith admitted with an 1800m five days after the Derby another possible next-up assignment.
“He’s still on the upward spiral and he’ll really come into his own as a four-year-old,” Robl said.
“He still gives you that feeling he’s a touch immature but he’s definitely on the upward spiral.”
In the latest Victoria Derby odds at bookmaker.com.au the young gun is rated an $18 chance, markets led by odds-on favourite It’s A Dundeel ($1.90) who races in the $220,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) in Melbourne today.
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