Whittlesea-based trainer Peter Morgan is looking forward to the first-up run of his 2014 Caulfield Cup prospect Star Rolling who he hopes can finish first four in Saturday’s weight-for-age feature.
While it is a tough ask for a horse to fire in a Group 2 WFA event and then back-up and be competitive in the majors later during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, that’s the task Morgan is setting his Casino Prince gelding Star Rolling.
The five-year-old resumes on the weekend at Caulfield Racecourse in the $200,000 Group 2 Back to Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) paying $6.50 to win through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Star Rolling occupies the third line of PB Lawrence Stakes betting with markets led by last year’s winner Puissance De Lune ($3.30) and the Peter Moody-trained French import Lidari ($5).
Saturday is the first run from Morgan’s promising stayer since a dead last finish behind 2013 Melbourne Cup champion Fiorente in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8.
While the horse was ninth over the line and failed to beat home any other runner, only four lengths separated Star Rolling and the winner and it looked to be only a matter of class in the end.
Before that the up-and-comer, that has still only had 11 career starts, was competitive at Caulfield with three eye catching runs.
Back at the track this weekend then the Caulfield Cup hope gets a chance to win for the first time since a black-type at Morphettville over 1800m back in September last year.
A frustrating spring preparation followed with Star Rolling balloted out of the races they needed to run in like the Heatherlie Handicap to get into the better events including the Caulfield Cup Morgan believes the gelding could have performed well in.
Runner-up behind Chase The Rainbow in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) and third when beaten under half a length by Fiorente, again, in the Group 2 Peter Young (1800m) in February though the form is certainly there for Star Rolling.
Morgan, who co-trains with Craig Widdison, blames himself for the horse’s Australian Cup loss and said they won’t be repeating the same mistakes this campaign.
“I just didn’t have him quite right in the autumn,” Morgan told AAP this week.
“He still ran good races. If I get him back to how I had him last spring, which I’m on track to do that, he’ll be really competitive.”
The plan is for Star Rolling to come out with a first four run on the weekend before going down the traditional path towards the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) back at the track on October 18.
“I’m hoping he can finish in the first four,” Morgan said.
“That’s probably our first aim and if there’s any chinks in any of their armours, who knows, we might even beat them.”
Early Caulfield Cup betting markets open now at Ladbrokes.com.au list Star Rolling as a $67 chance with ATC Oaks winning Kiwi mare Rising Romance the $15 favourite.
Historically it is in fact better for Star Rolling to not win the PB Lawrence Stakes if the Caulfield Cup is the major aim.
None of the past seven PB Lawrence Stakes winners have been able to win another race that campaign, and only six before that since 1990 being able to win again that season.
Sydeston (1990) meanwhile is the only horse to complete the Lawrence Stakes – Caulfield Cup double since the former was first run in 1949.
To back Star Rolling for a top three run this weekend, they pay $2.20 for a Place, and check out the full futures Caulfield Cup odds head over to Ladbrokes.com.au.
Even better, take the horse for the win at $6.50 and if they run second on Saturday Ladbrokes will credit your account with a refund bet up to $50!