Smart South Australian sprinter Boristar will return to Flemington on Saturday to contest the Listed $120,000 Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) with trainer John MacMillian hoping for a better result that their last visit.
MacMillian ventured to Flemington with Boristar during last year’s Melbourne Spring Carnival and was narrowly denied a win with fellow South Australian galloper Eclair Big Bang getting the judge’s decision in a tight finish in the $100,000 Emirates Airline Handicap (1400m) on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Boristar returned home to Strathalbyn for a short break before MacMillian produced the Commands five year old to score a one and a quarter lengths win in the Listed $80,000 Adelaide Galvanising Christmas Handicap at Morphettville Parks on December 26.
MacMillian was happy to see the gelding back in the winner’s stall and knew that he had earned another chance at a Flemington win.
“I think this horse has certainly earned his chance. If I left him in Adelaide he’d just go around and win and then I’d be thinking, `I wonder if he was good enough for a Listed race in Melbourne,” MacMillian told AAP.
“So we might as well find out now.”
“But when you are talking about Listed races at Flemington you are going up to a whole other level.”
“That’s why I’m realistic about this.”
Boristar had shown above average ability as a three year old and MacMillian thought he had a handy horse in the stable but that soured when the gelding suffered a fractured pelvis and was off the scene for eight months recovering.
He missed the rest of his three year old season and part of his four year old season before returning to the racetrack for a first up win over 1300m at Morphettville in December 2013 and MacMillian is happy with the way the gelding has regained his winning form this preparation.
“He came back to winning but not showing what he had done prior to the injury,” MacMillan said.
“For the next 18 months, to be honest, I had more or less accepted the fact that although he was a nice horse and he was winning races, he wasn’t going to be what we’d hoped he would be as a three-year-old.”
The Chester Manifold Stakes has attracted seventeen nominations including the Listed Christmas Stakes placegetters Tried And Tired, Lord Of The Sky and Go The Knuckle as well as last start Rosehill winner Red Excitement.
The Gerald Ryan trained Red Excitement resumed from a lengthy spell to score a first up win over 1400m at Rosehill on December 20.
The five year old created a huge impression over the Summer months earlier in the year after scoring a hat trick of wins but was forced to the sidelines after sustaining a tendon injury following his win over 1600m at Randwick on February 8.