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It may turn out to be nothing more than a pipe dream but Whittlsea-based trainer Peter Morgan has ambitious 2013 Caulfield Cup plans for his promising four-year-old Star Rolling.
A sizzling piece of work at Moonee Valley over 1000m on Tuesday morning confirmed the high opinion Morgan, who co-trains with Craig Widdison, has of the up-and-coming Casino Prince gelding Star Rolling.
A NZ$155,000 purchase from the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sales two years ago, Star Rolling is only lightly raced having had just the four starts to date.
In a sign of better things to come however they have won three of those early runs including back-to-back victories over 2000m at Flemington in June.
Both of those handicap wins were by good margins too with the then three-year-old putting two and then two-and-a-half lengths on their closest rivals respectively.
Having seen staying potential in the galloper, Morgan and connections nominated Star Rolling for a number of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors.
They are currently entered for both the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19, and the weight-for-age $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) the following Saturday at Moonee Valley.
It is the first over the mile and a half that Morgan would most like to see the young gun qualify for, although he knows there’s a long way to go for Star Rolling who is as yet untested at stakes level.
Following their crack gallop this week Morgan will run them first-up at the Valley on Saturday.
It won’t however be in the race he would ideally like to kick them off in.
Star Rolling is a dual nominee at Moonee Valley for the weekend in both an $80,000 handicap over 1200m and another $80,000 handicap over 1500m which could feature the likes of the Lloyd Williams-trained Excluded who won the race last year, Tuscan Fire who saluted at Flemington as a triple figure roughie last start, and the always honest spring contender Precedence.
While the latter is Morgan’s preference to give them more ground to run over, with a bumper 36 nominations and Star Rolling sitting 29th on the order of entry they are going to have to settle for the shorter sprint.
“I’d love him to run in the 1500 on Saturday but he’s 29 in order and he won’t get a run,” Morgan told Racing Victoria.
“In the sprint we’re 18 in order. If we don’t get a run (in either) I’m not sure where we’ll go.”
Morgan then named the $120,000 Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) at Caulfield Racecourse on August 31 as another early aim for Star Rolling who would have to show they could handle a seven day back-up.
From there he will follow along some of the traditional Caulfield Cup lead-ups hoping to see progression each time including a possible run in the $150,000 Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) back at Caulfield on September 21.
A win in the Naturalism would be the key to unlocking Morgan’s dream of a Caulfield Cup start for Star Rolling as the winner of that quality handicap clash is exempt from Caulfield Cup ballot.
“Getting in there might be beyond us, but whether he’s good enough I don’t know,” Morgan said speaking of a Caulfield Cup start.
“On this morning’s work he may be better than I think he is.”
They currently pay $51 in the early Caulfield Cup odds which are led by Fiorente at $11.
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