An impressive first-up performer before fading to finish sixth in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6th, trainer Peter Morgan has revealed he is pleased with the condition of classy runner Star Rolling ahead of this weekend’s featured Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
Displaying an exceptional turn of foot to lead from start to finish in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up, Morgan believes the son of Casino Prince may have been pushed a little too hard, too early by Dato’ winner The Cleaner, leading to his late fade.
Hopeful of a good barrier for the 2014 Underwood Stakes, Morgan told Racing Victoria he was thrilled with a Tuesday morning gallop completed by the five-year-old and is expecting a return to the Caulfield track to play directly into his strengths on Saturday.
“I think (The Cleaner) might have blown us away a bit, he was just too good for us,” Morgan said.
“The first-up run was the toughest for him and that may have told a little bit but I am very happy with how the horse is at the moment.
“I don’t think we’ll be the leader but we’ll be somewhere there if he draws a good barrier.
“He is better in the coat now and he has tightened-up a lot and I think he’ll run a good race on Saturday.
“We gave him a harder hit-out than Moonee Valley when we went there but I’m very happy with his work, it couldn’t be any better.
“He’s always runs a good race here at Caulfield, not sure if he handled Moonee Valley the other day because when we worked him that morning he got a bit shifty under his feet.”
Securing an impressive total of five wins and two minor places from just 13 competitive starts so far, Star Rolling was unlucky to be balloted out of several major events through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but still managed to claim four of seven races, including the Listed Penang Trophy most notably.
Returning in good form through the 2014 Autumn Carnival, the gelding out of Uneasy finished a credible fifth in the Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) first-up before finishing second in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) and third behind 2013 Melbourne Cup champion Fiorente in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) most notably.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Underwood Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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