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A start in Saturday’s Group 1 $1 million 2013 Australian Cup (2000m) marks an impressive and speedy rise through the grades in the past six months for three-year-old Fiveandahalfstar.
In September last year, the Anthony Cummings-trained gelding opened his spring campaign with a fourth-place finish at Kembla Grange.
It wasn’t until the stayer’s 13th career start and the distances began to rise that the penny finally dropped.
But then it really dropped.
Since breaking his maiden status at Canterbury in October, Fiveandahalfstar has won twice and finished runner-up twice from four starts.
He’s won the $1.5 million Victoria Derby and finished second in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes and Autumn Classic.
On Saturday he will step up to take on the older horses in one of the autumn’s premier weight-for-age Group 1s.
The talented stayer had his final serious hit-out on Tuesday ahead of the Australian Cup, leaving Anthony Cummings confident about his chances.
“I’m very happy with Fiveandahalfstar,” Cummings said.
Fiveandahalfstar has both fitness and conditions on his side.
Stepping out for his third run after consecutive seconds to begin his campaign, he gets up to a suitable distance of 2000m.
As a three-year-old he has a weight advantage over the majority of his rivals as he will carry just 54.5kg.
The older males will carry 59kg while the older females will carry 57kg.
Prior to the release of the final field, Fiveandahalfstar was rated an $8 chance in the Australian Cup market.
Favourite is Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon ($4) while other top chances include Mr Moet ($6) and Autumn Classic winner Super Cool ($6).
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