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After 22 months on the sidelines due to reoccurring injuries, Fiveandahalfstar resumed in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) on February 14.
The race was unsuitably short for the five-year-old gelding, who is much more suited to middle-distance races, and while he finished second last it was a solid run after so long off the scene, considering he was just three and a half lengths off winner Heart Testa.
Trainer Anthony Cummings was just happy to see Fiveandahalfstar racing again. He believes the gelding is back on track for his first autumn campaign since 2013 and delivered a good first-up result.
Fiveandahalfstar is one of 16 horses nominated for the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm this Saturday. Cummings revealed the gelding would definitely be running in the race despite having to go up against some of the best horses in Sydney.
“He did a good job first up, showed a bit of dash and ran well,” Cummings told Racing Network on Tuesday morning.
“I was more than satisfied with the way he went. He’s really sound and ready to go again.
“He had a good gallop here (Randwick) this morning and he’ll definitely run on Saturday.”
Fiveandahalfstar had a brilliant season as a three-year-old, winning both the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m) as well as running second in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m).
He will enjoy the step up in distance to a mile in the 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes when he takes on the likes of defending champion Boban, Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) winner Contributer, and top-class mare Lucia Valentina.
As for the remainder of the autumn carnival, Cummings will wait and see how Fiveandahalfstar runs on Saturday before deciding where to go next.
“We’ve got lots of options and plenty of races to choose from, so we’ll just see what happens on Saturday first then make some plans,” Cummings said.
If you believe Fiveandahalfstar has the makings of a comeback story you can back him at $41 odds in the Chipping Norton Stakes futures market at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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