The Hawkes Racing-trained Star Turn impressed jockey Tommy Berry with a winning Sydney trial on Tuesday morning ahead of the colt’s first-up run in the San Domenico Stakes 2016.
A nicely-bred son of Star Witness, Star Turn won his second winter trial on the trot beating home the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Wild ‘N’ Famous in a 900m Open Trial giving Berry plenty to look forward to if he sticks in the saddle of the new season three-year-old.
“He was doing a lot wrong last preparation, he was hanging in and just not showing his full potential,” Berry told Racing Victoria.
“He has really matured now, he is doing everything right so I’d imagine that will mean his performances on race day will improve.”
Star Turn, who donned blinkers for his winning trial, has had five career runs to date including a Listed Pierro Stakes (1100m) win at Randwick last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival by three lengths with Berry aboard.
He ran second first-up this year at Caulfield in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) with Dwayne Dunn aboard, Star Turn beaten just a neck by subsequent Blue Diamond runner-up Flying Artie.
Dunn retained the ride in the Group 1 Blue Diamond (1200m) a fortnight later, but Star Turn only managed to run seven lengths away fifth behind the Mick Price-trained winner Extreme Choice.
In his last official start the colt then jumped a 41/1 roughie in the lucrative $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) back in Sydney on March 19 and was far from disgraced when three lengths back for sixth to Capitalist.
All looks on track for Star Turn to make a successful return to the races this spring with the team confirming his first-up assignment as the $150,000 Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 13.
Last year’s San Domenico Stakes winner Japonisme (2015) went on to win the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Victoria Derby Day down the Flemington straight on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
This Saturday Berry will be aboard one of the horses that finished behind his trial winner on Tuesday, jumping in the saddle of stablemate Divine Prophet in the $100,000 Listed The Rosebud (1200m).
Christian Reith rode the Choisir colt to fifth in the hit-out, but Berry comes on for the youngster’s first run on the weekend since a close third behind Prized Icon at Randwick in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in mid-April.
“Christian said he was a bit fresh, which I’d imagine is why he was given a trial today to take the edge off him before Saturday,” Berry said of Divine Prophet who is a full-brother to Proisir.
“He is a lightly-raced horse who showed what he is capable of in the autumn and I’m looking forward to riding him on Saturday.”
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