Current top fancy in The BMW 2013 odds Fiveandahalfstar will take their next step towards their lucrative Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival goals when they race in the $400,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Winner of the Victoria Derby last Melbourne Cup Carnival the Anthony Cummings-trained Hotel Grand three-year-old has been in flying form this time in recording three close second place finishes.
First-up they came within a long neck of Mulaazem in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) before their second to Super Cool in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) on February 23.
A fortnight later they stepped up to Group 1 company for the Australian Cup (2000m) and ran the run of the race when only just nudged out by Super Cool again this time by a mere short half-head, Saturday their first run since.
“You can either work them a lot or race them a lot,” Cummings explained.
“It does depend on the horse but he’s got a good constitution.
“He needed seven races in eight weeks to get him ready for the Victoria Derby.”
Tipped to improve on that run when they go to Sydney over the same distance for the Ranvet, Fiveandahalfstar looks the one to beat on Saturday having come up trumps with barrier four of 13.
They will also advantage from the weight-for-age conditions carrying just 54.5kg meaning they will meet the likes of Manighar and 2011 Victoria Derby winner Sangster 4.5kg better off.
Rosehill also holds no fears as they won here by three lengths last October in an 1800m event.
Having been ridden by Glen Boss for their three runs this prep, their Sydney hoop Pete Robl jumps back aboard on Saturday.
“It was always the plan that Peter would ride him in Sydney although I think Bossy has some unfinished business,” Cummings said.
Fiveandahalfstar is of course heading towards the classic $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2500m) back at the track on Golden Slipper Day, April 6.
In the latest The BMW betting markets Fiveandahalfstar is the top fancy paying $5.
Following them in The BMW odds are then a number of their other Ranvet Stakes rivals with Roger James’ Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Silent Achiever ($6.50), the Chris Waller-trained Gatewood ($11) and last autumn’s star Manighar ($11).
After The BMW all going to plan Fiveandahalfstar will back up in the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 13, the galloper currently paying $3.80 as the second pick in the futures markets behind Randwick Guineas winner It’s A Dundeel ($3).
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