John Sadler’s is looking for a nice first-up run for his returning six-year-old Lonrockstar at Moonee Valley this weekend eyeing a Standish Handicap 2016 run at Flemington Racecourse on New Year’s Day.
Lonhro gelding Lonrockstar has won five of his 24 starts to date with his latest success being over 1100m at Flemington in late June, the track his Caulfield-based trainer hopes to take him back to in January for a shot at the $150,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m).
Last seen running fifth to Shiraz, also at Flemington, in the Group 3 Auries Star Handicap (1200m) in early August the galloper returns to racing this weekend having his third start at Moonee Valley.
“He raced particularly well during the winter, especially down the straight at Flemington, and that’s what he’s been prepared for again this time in; the Standish Handicap on New Year’s Day,” Sadler confirmed to Racing Victoria this week.
“He kicks off Saturday at the Valley where he has raced well before and he races well first-up.”
From his two previous runs at the notoriously tight circuit he has twice run second, most recently behind Override over 1000m by a narrow margin back in March.
Runner-up to Play Master two back in the Listed All Victoria Sprint Series Final (1200m), Lonrockstar contests the $90,000 City Jeep Handicap (1000m) this Saturday.
“He made giant steps through his last campaign, so I thought, ‘You’re worth sending out and mapping out a program for’,” Sadler said.
“That’s what we’ve done and we’re starting that program on Saturday.
“He’s shown me all the signs this time in that he’s going to run very well this time in and have a good campaign. If he had a little bit of luck in this race it wouldn’t surprise me to see him win.”
He is one of a dozen sprinters in the mix for the short-distance clash and gets the inside run from barrier one with Glen Boss aboard.
Well weighted with 55kg, just one kilo above the minimum with weights led by the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Churchill Dancer (60kg) who gets a three kilo claim from apprentice Dylan Dunn, Lonrockstar has a good record when resuming.
From five previous first-up assignments he boasts two wins, a second and two thirds.
For Moonee Valley Race 7 on Saturday he is one of six single-figure fancies in betting at Ladbrokes.com.au with Churchill Dancer, seeking his first win since the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) from September, leading the markets at $4 and firming.
Lonrockstar is at $8 for the win along with the also resuming Sistine Demon for Andrew Noblet.
After Saturday Sadler has one more run on December 19 on the agenda at Flemington in mind for Lonrockstar before the Standish Handicap that will come three runs in.
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