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Boristar delivered John McMillan his first stakes-level race victory in Adelaide on December 26 but the trainer is hopeful it won’t take as long to get his second.
The last start winner will line-up in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday; while it will be a challenge for the gelding that has mainly stuck to Benchmark races, McMillan believes he has earned the chance.
Boristar has finished in the first two in five of his past six starts, including a close second in the Emirates Airline Handicap (1400m) on November 8 at Flemington. The gelding got trapped wide early so went onto be the outside lead. He hit the front at the 400m mark and was still there with 20 metres to go before finding himself nabbed late by Eclair Big Bang.
After finishing outside the placings in all three of his previous black-type starts, Boristar emerged victorious in the Listed Christmas Handicap (1400m) at Morphettville on Boxing Day.
“But when you are talking about Listed races at Flemington you are going up to a whole other level,” McMillan told Sky Racing.
“That’s why I’m realistic about this.
“I think this horse has certainly earned his chance. If I left him in Adelaide he’d just go around and win and then I’d be thinking, `I wonder if he was good enough for a Listed race in Melbourne’.
“So we might as well find out now.”
The five-year-old gelding was one of 17 horses nominated for the 2015 Chester Manifold Stakes on Monday morning, against the likes of Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) winner Decircles and top weighter Reparations.
McMillan had high hopes for Boristar after winning two races in his first preparation but after suffering a fractured pelvis, the gelding was sidelined for nine months.
“He came back to winning but not showing what he had done prior to the injury,” MacMillan said.
“For the next 18 months, to be honest, I had more or less accepted the fact that although he was a nice horse and he was winning races, he wasn’t going to be what we’d hoped he would be as a three-year-old.”
Yet the gelding has found his best form again this campaign and the trainer is keen to see where he’ll go now. Should he win the 2015 Chester Manifold Stakes on Saturday, McMillan will consider running Boristar in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 14.
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