Trainer Chris Waller has conceded Flamingo Star has not reached the potential he had hoped for through the 2015 Spring Carnival so far, but is confident the conditions of Saturday’s 2015 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) are not out of the capabilities of the German import.
Flamingo Star posted winning form around some of the world’s best race horses through his European preparations but is yet to win a race through six starts in Australia since joining Waller’s stables at the beginning of the year.
Clearly needing the run when 12th in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) first-up on September 5th, the Areion entire managed to beat only one runner home in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) a fortnight later.
Improving greatly for fourth in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) on September 12th, Flamingo Star appears to be in the right condition for a big performance in the 2015 Mackinnon Stakes after savaging the line for fifth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) on October 10th.
Waller will saddle three runners in the 2015 Mackinnon Stakes but is confident Flamingo Star is ready for a big performance on Derby Day.
“He’s been a touch disappointing,” Waller told Racing Victoria.
“If I said at the start of the spring who would be my Group 1 winner for the spring, I would have said Flamingo Star and I would have labelled the Epsom Handicap.
“So he didn’t come up as well as we would have liked. It works out that he’s best with blinkers and on better tracks and I think 2000 metres.
“It’s a big ask for a handicapper to be stepping up to weight-for-age, like the Mackinnon, but the punters think he’s got a chance and so do we.”
Waller is unsure how the 2015 Mackinnon Stakes will play out owing to the talented field confirmed but is pleased with the condition of his other runners; Weary and Index Linked.
“Weary is out of form through bad draws, so we took him back to Sydney and he’s trialled well, so we brought him back down the highway. He’s certainly capable but he’s a hard horse to follow,” Waller added.
“Index Linked is hard to place now. He gets big weights in handicaps and we’re just hoping that this year’s Mackinnon might just be a little level down from a Cox Plate, that’s easier said than done, but at least he’s in with a weight the same as the others.”
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Mackinnon Stakes Odds, for which Flamingo Star can be taken at a quote of $7.50 for success, Weary $41 and Index Linked $51.
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