In-form stallion Stratum Star showed that he could run out a strong 2000m with a tough win in the Group 3 $150,000 David Jones Cup at Caulfield today.
Winning trainer Darren Weir is now convinced that Stratum Star has another Group 1 win in him this campaign and will head to Flemington on Saturday week to run in the Group 1 $1m Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
“He was strong to the line,” Weir said.
“I thought he needed a run over 2000m today to be able to take on the Group 1 race over 2000m so I think it was the right decision so far anyway,” Weir said.
“The Mackinnon has been the goal after he ran last week.”
“I said to the owners that he is probably looking for 2000m now and I am a big believer that horses runs better at their second run over the trip so I was very keen to give him a run and toughen him up.”
“Anyway it has worked so far.”
Stratum Star will now head back to Weir’s Warrnambool complex and continue his beach training that he has thrived on so far this Spring Carnival.
“He does most of his work down at the beach,” Weir said.
Stratum Star broke through for his first Group 1 win three starts back when he beat Disposition in the Group 1 $400,000 Anthea Crawford Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 26.
Then at his next start Stratum Star finished third to stablemate Lucky Hussler in the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield last week.
Winning jockey Mark Zahra gave Stratum Star ($4.40 favourite) the prefect ride in the box seat behind the leader Leebaz and eased over his heels on the home turn to gain a clear run to the finish line.
The Leon and Troy Corstens trained Awesome Rock ($21) ran on gamely for second with the leader Leebaz ($8.50) sticking on for third.
“He was that relaxed in the run and when I went for him he had a quick length when he needed it,” Zahra said.
Fancied runner Fenway ($5) travelled on the pace but faded from the home turn and it appeared that something had gone amiss.
And the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Dibayani failed to take the home turn and ran off the track in the home straight.
David Jones Cup Results
|1||1||STRATUM STAR||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||–||2||59kg||$4.40F|
|2||8||AWESOME ROCK||Leon & Troy Corstens||Stephen Baster||1L||6||54kg||$21|
|3||3||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.25L||3||57kg||$8.50|
|4||6||SADLER’S LAKE||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||2.45L||7||55kg||$6|
|5||9||VELOX (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Williams||3.2L||9||54kg||$11|
|6||7||THUNDER LADY (NZ)||John Sargent||Damian Lane||4.45L||1||54kg||$16|
|7||10||HIGH MIDNIGHT||James Cummings||Glen Boss||4.65L||8||54kg||$31|
|8||4||PUCCINI (NZ)||Peter & Jacob McKay||Ben Melham||4.85L||4||57kg||$26|
|9||2||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Zac Purton||29.85L||10||57.5kg||$7|
|10||5||FENWAY||Lee & Shannon Hope||Blake Shinn||54.85L||5||56kg||$5|