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Cummings Duo Return In Barrier Trial

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Dual Group 1 winner Fiveandahalfstar moved one step closer to a return to racing after contesting a barrier trial at Royal Randwick this afternoon.

Fiveandahalfstar finished at the tail of the field in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick this afternoon. Photo by: Steve Hart

Fiveandahalfstar finished at the tail of the field in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick this afternoon. Photo by: Steve Hart

Fiveandahalfstar was a late inclusion in the entries for the sixth barrier trial over 800 metres and he was able to keep pace with his rivals in the early stages of the trial before being outpaced in the straight to finish last in his first public appearance for almost two years.

Fiveandahalfstar jumped from a benchmark 72 handicap at Rosehill Gardens to record an upset win in the 2012 edition of the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and the Hotel Grand gelding proved that win was no fluke when he finished second in both the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) before winning the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

The tough gelding suffered a sprained fetlock during his narrow The BMW win and the five-year-old has been kept away from racing since due to a number of issues with his legs.

Another Anthony Cummings-trained galloper that is working towards a return to racing is talented sprinter Fontelina, who led in the barrier trial early and worked home fairly under a heavy hold.

Fontelina missed the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival due to a ligament injury, but appears on track to return to racing at the highest level and he was a late entry for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) last weekend.

The Testa Rossa gelding has been a consistent performer at Group 1 level since he contested the 2011 edition of the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1600m) in Brisbane as a two-year-old, but he is still chasing a maiden win at the highest level of racing after being narrowly denied by Rebel Dane in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in March last year.

If Fontelina does press on to the Newmarket Handicap he will be contesting the race for the third time in his racing career after finishing seventh behind Shamexpress in 2013 and 13th behind Lankan Rupee last year.

Fontelina is currently available at 2015 Newmarket Handicap odds of $34, while Chautauqua ($4) is a narrow favourite from stablemate Deep Field ($4.50) and Darley Classic winner Terravista ($5).

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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