Anthony Cummings’ ace three-year-old Fiveandhalfstar ran the ideal Australian Derby lead-up on Golden Slipper Day breaking a frustrating succession of second place finishes this time in with a brilliant 2013 The BMW win at Rosehill Gardens.
The Hotel Grand gelding, winner of the Victoria Derby in Melbourne last spring, came into today’s $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) on the back of four second place finishes including the Ranvet Stakes behind Foreteller last time out.
Sick of playing second fiddle a jockey change to champion Hugh Bowman worked at treat on Slipper Day and Fiveandahalfstar was able to score their second Group 1 victory ahead of Saturday week’s $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick.
After sitting as short as $3.10 in The BMW markets earlier in the week the rain in Sydney saw the punters lay off Fiveandhalfstar who eased right out to $4.40 before jump time.
They need not have feared however as the horse showed they could handle the softer track, the 2400m in open-age company and the weight-for-age conditions of the race.
Best out of the gates Fiveandahalfstar jumped from barrier six very fast and took up the lead right at the start.
In a very dominant staying display by a three-year-old they maintained that position in an all-the-way effort despite a late challenge from former New Zealand Derby winning mare Silent Achiever who wasn’t even in the race until the final 100m.
Down the straight a number of runners made a move for the front including Kelinni who whipped up on the outside to attack.
Chris Waller’s Melbourne Cup fourth place-getter briefly overtook Fiveandahalfstar but the eventual winner regained the lead and the two battled it out stride-for-stride.
Then rushing up out of nowhere Roger James’ Kiwi mare Silent Achiever ($7.50) put in a huge challenge but Fiveandhalfstar dug deep, accelerated and got there by a long neck.
Three Derby winners filled The BMW 2013 trifecta then with 2011 Victoria Derby champ Sangster ($12), also based in New Zealand and winner of the Auckland Cup two back, running a cracking third a further length away improving on their seventh in the Ranvet.
It was a brilliant 2013 The BMW result for Bowman who also won the day’s opening Group 1 saluting aboard the Bart Cummings-trained Norzita in the Vinery Stud Stakes.
“I have ridden him in a race when he was young and he’s obviously matured,” he said.
“He covers the ground really well in his action.
“He’s not the easiest horse to judge pace by.
“But I was pretty confident by about the 1400m I felt I really had control.
“This horse is not a sit and sprint type, I let him get through his gears and you saw him fight when Silent Achiever came up on his inside.
“It’s a great privilege.
“He’ll go around next week and he’ll do it again (in the Derby).”
Cummings was also pleased with Bowman’s effort and the horse’s win.
“Hughie judged it right, got the speed right and the horse did the rest in a great result,” he said.
“Just a great horse.”
When asked if they would be backing up in the Derby next Saturday Cummings said “absolutely”.
Having finally broken through in The BMW however Fiveandhalfstar may be playing second fiddle again in seven days’ time as they prepare to take on the Murray Baker’s Randwick Guineas – Rosehill Guineas winner It’s A Dundeel in the Australian Derby 2013 – the pair to jump the top two fancies.
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2013 The BMW Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 5 – 06/04/2013
|1||12||FIVEANDAHALFSTAR||Anthony Cummings||Hugh Bowman||–||6||54.5kg||$4.40F|
|2||11||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||James McDonald||0.2L||8||56.5kg||$7.50|
|3||8||SANGSTER (NZ)||T Busuttin & N Young||Steven Arnold||1.2L||3||58.5kg||$12|
|4||4||KELINNI (IRE)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||1.3L||1||59kg||$11|
|5||1||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||1.4L||9||59kg||$7.50|
|6||5||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||1.5L||5||59kg||$9|
|7||10||HATHRAS (GB)||Kris Lees||Christian Reith||2.4L||12||58kg||$7.50|
|8||9||LE ROI (GER)||Tony McEvoy||Glyn Schofield||3.1L||2||58kg||$13|
|9||2||MAWINGO (GER)||Anthony Freedman||Craig Williams||4.2L||4||59kg||$20|
|10||3||NIWOT||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Michael Rodd||7.5L||7||59kg||$21|
|11||6||GATEWOOD (GB)||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||8.7L||10||59kg||$26|
|12||7||KUTCHINSKY||Danny O’Brien||Blake Shinn||9.6L||11||59kg||$71|