A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
After officially being ruled out of a new season return during the spring racing carnivals in Sydney and Melbourne this season, the Anthony Cummings-trained Fiveandahalfstar will be saved for an Australian Cup 2014 campaign next autumn.
The $2.6 million earning Hotel Grand gelding injured their fetlock during the autumn following their tight victory over Silent Achiever in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill in the wet on April 6.
Despite doing all they could to get the gelding ready for a spring return, Fiveandahalfstar has failed to overcome the injury 100 percent and will remain in the spelling paddock for at least another four weeks as confirmed by Cummings on Wednesday.
Connections had been considering them for all the majors including the weight-for-age Cox Plate on October 25 and the big spring cups at Caulfield and Flemington.
The BMW was their second elite level trophy following their excellent win in the Victoria Derby over the same distance at Flemington last Melbourne Cup Carnival as a $40 roughie.
It also capped off what had been a sensational summer – autumn campaign for the surprise $20,000 bargain yearling buy.
Leading up to Group 1 win number two Fiveandahalfstar also contested the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) in Victoria and Sydney’s Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) two weeks apart finishing second in both to Super Cool and Foreteller respectively beaten under half a length both times.
After their extended spell the then four-year-old could be back in work in late August, Fiveandahalfstar also a chance for an international campaign in Hong Kong this December.
If not Hong Kong for the renowned international race day where the Hong Kong Cup would be the logical target, then a 2014 return for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival is the other option.
And it is the autumn Cummings is likely to save them for with a second shot at the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 8 high on his agenda.
“He’ll be in work in August and September, he’ll be in the paddock probably in October and then comes back in November for a preparation aimed towards the Australian Cup,” Cummings said.
“That was the one that got away last preparation.”
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