Anthony Cummings’ dual Group 1 winner Fiveandahalfstar is being set for an ambitious Melbourne Cup 2014 target next Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival once they return from injury.
Winner of the Victoria Derby as a three-year-old in November of 2012, the now four-year-old Hotel Grand four-year-old could return to the carnival next year for a shot at the world’s richest handicap.
Last seen winning the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill in April, their third top two finish at elite level in as many starts, Fiveandahalfstar missed this year’s spring riches due to a fetlock injury.
Fiveandahalfstar, a bargain $20,000 buy from the 2011 William Inglis and Son Classic Yearling Sale, is now back in work looking fit and healthy according to Cummings.
“He’s been back in work for about a week and he looks really healthy and well,” he told Racing Victoria.
“The issue that he had with his fetlock has settled nicely and touch wood it won’t be an issue for him going forward.”
After failing to reach full fitness in time for a spring comeback this carnival, Fiveandahalfstar was kept in the paddock missing a shot at the Cox Plate and spring cups.
Cummings however is keen to bring them back early next year where their major autumn aim will be the $1 million Group 1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 8.
They were beaten a mere nose by the Mark Kavanagh-trained Super Cool in the Australian Cup this year.
Then it will be all eyes on the country’s major cup race, the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) back at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
“At this stage his future program looks to be Sydney-based in the autumn with a view to having a shortened program compared to what he’s done in the past so that he can come back bright and well for the spring in Melbourne,” Cummings said.
“The right (autumn) preparation for him is probably going through the Doncaster into the Queen Elizabeth and then he’ll have a break and come back for a spring campaign aimed at the Melbourne Cup next year.”
The $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) runs at Royal Randwick on April 19 with the $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) held back at the track the following Saturday.
En route to the Melbourne Cup 2014 in the spring, Cummings also said they would likely run in the weight-for-age Cox Plate over 2040m in October.
Pre-nomination Melbourne Cup odds are already out at the online Aussie bookmakers with Fiveandahalf star rated a $51 outsider in markets led by this year’s brave third placed Mount Athos.
Whether it’s a summer showdown in Perth, the upcoming autumn carnival or the futures markets on the Melbourne Cup you’re wanting to bet on head to Ladbrokes.com.au and access all the hottest odds.