Top Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn will push forward on Star Turn from an inside barrier in the Group 1 $500,000 Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Star Turn, with Dunn in the saddle, was beaten a nose and a nose when a first up third behind Terravista and Spieth in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 18 and then finished third again for Glen Boss after racing on the pace in Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 11.
Dunn hops back on the Team Hawkes trained colt who is the only three year old in the field, and the plan is to try and use his good gate speed to dominate the race up front.
“He’s drawn a beautiful barrier (three) and he’s going to push up on-speed,” Dunn told racing.com.
“He’s always run into some pretty smart gallopers but hopefully on Friday night we can get the job done.”
Dunn has the job of shedding Star Turn’s bridesmaid tag and the Star Witness colt has a great chance to breakthrough for his initial Group 1 win against the older horses in the weight for age William Reid Stakes.
“He’s been a little bit of a bridesmaid but he’s fought hard in all his races and it would be lovely to tick that box in a Group 1. He deserves it. He’s a beautiful animal and he’s done nothing wrong,” Dunn said.
Star Turn has been placed three times at Group 1 level but he did beat the older horses, including Group 1 winner Malaguerra, in the Group 2 $400,000 Mitsubishi Electric Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the William Reid Stakes has Star Turn as the $4.40 favourite just ahead of the Oakleigh Plate winner Sheidel at $4.80 with the Darren Weir trained Hellbent on the third line of betting at $7.
The Lindsay Park trained Sheidel broke through for her maiden Group 1 win in the $500,000 The Resimax Group Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25 and followed that up with a fourth to her stablemate Redkirik Warrior in the Newmarket Handicap.
Blake Shinn takes over from Damien Oliver on Sheidel who will also go forward from barrier nine in the William Reid Stakes field that has been reduced to twelve runners with the early scratching of the Joe Pride trained Kuro.