Dato Stakes Gets 2014 Cox Plate Star Rolling

The Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison-trained Star Rolling kicks off a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign at Moonee Valley this weekend in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes ahead of a possible Cox Plate 2014 bid back at the track in October.

Star Rolling (inside)

Star Rolling (inside) kicks off a possible 2014 Cox Plate campaign at Moonee Valley on Saturday. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

A crack line-up of 17 exciting spring hopes are nominated for the $250,000 Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on Saturday including four last start winners.

The top rated of those is Gai Waterhouse’s imported Sydney Cup winner The Offer racing for the first time since his four length romp in the Group 1 over the two miles at Randwick on April 19.

The Offer is current favourite through Ladbrokes.com.au to take out the 2014 Melbourne Cup over the same distance (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November and hand Waterhouse back-to-back wins in the ‘race that stops a nation’ following the success of fellow import Fiorente last spring.

Star Rolling meanwhile is another last start winner but his was a first-up effort with fitness on the side of the Casino Prince gelding.

Debuting as a five-year-old at Caulfield on August 16 he caused an upset when surprising quite a few with his narrow victory over Spillway in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).

Going up in distance to a mile on the weekend then the promising galloper shoots for back-to-back wins, his first at Moonee Valley.

Star Rolling worked at the track on Tuesday morning over 1000m alongside stable mate Averau finishing the final 400m in 24.84 seconds on the rain-affected course.

“He’s 15 kilos lighter, his coat’s almost out, so we’re pretty happy with him,” Morgan said from Moonee Valley speaking of how well the horse had come on from his first-up run.

If all goes to plan co-trainer Morgan has Group 1 ambitions this spring for Star Rolling whose last elite level assignment was a last place finish when ninth to Fiorente in the Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in early March.

On the radar is $400,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 20 followed possibly by a shot at the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 25.

“It’s a long campaign,” Morgan admitted.

“I don’t think we’re going to the Cups with him, he’ll run Saturday then go the Underwood and then we’ll decide what we’re going to do.

“If we can win the Underwood or something like that then of course we’re going to be in the Cox Plate.”

Current Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is led by the Roger James-trained Kiwi mare Silent Achiever ($11).

Star Rolling meanwhile is listed at a juicy $41 in the futures Cox Plate odds, a price sure to firm if he comes out with a big upset on the weekend.

Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the official 2014 McEwen Stakes field on Wednesday.

Then to get behind Star Rolling first-up and into the spring including in the Cox Plate visit Ladbrokes.com.au and open an account following the prompts to have your first deposit matched 100% as a bonus welcome bet valued up to $250!

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