Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar will begin his autumn campaign in the Group 2 2013 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 9 and his performance will go a long way to determining the rest of his 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival program.
Trainer Anthony Cummings has outlined two second-up options including the Group 1 2013 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 2.
The other possibility is the Group 2 2013 Autumn Classic (1800m) which would be an easier option and also opens up the possibility of contesting the Group 1 2013 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 9.
Cummings is in no rush to decide the exact program but suggested Fiveandahalfstar would head back to Sydney following the Melbourne campaign to contest the Group 1 2013 Australian Derby (2400m) in April.
“[We’ll have to decide] Whether we go to the Guineas or whether we go to the 1800-metre race at Caulfield and then onto the Australian Cup and back to Sydney for the Derby,” Cummings told Radio Sports National.
The Randwick trainer has been pleased with the three-year-old’s work so far, with his one public hit-out coming in the form of a comfortable trial at Randwick on January 17.
“I think he’s certainly more mature and his work’s at a different level and more in keeping with a Group 1 horse,” Cummings said.
A son of Hotel Grand, Fiveandahalfstar took his time maturing but the penny finally dropped in October when he broke his maiden in his 13th start before recording three consecutive victories including on the big stage by 1 1/2 lengths in the Derby.
He was named yesterday as one of 76 entrants for the Australian Guineas and also included in the 48-horse list of Australian Cup nominees.
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