Fiveandahalfstar has been included in the nominations for the 2015 The BMW and is set to make the step-up in trip to 2400 metres for the first time in two years.
Fiveandahalfstar stamped himself as one of the most promising stayers in Australia when he won both the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m) as a three-year-old, but a number of leg issues kept him away from racing for almost two years.
The Hotel Grand gelding made his long awaited return to racing with a credible performance in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 14 and he went on to perform well without looking like a winning chance in both the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14.
Cummings told Sky Racing this morning that he has been happy with the progress that Fiveandahalfstar has made this preparation and he revealed that the five-year-old performed well in his final piece of serious work ahead of The BMW.
“I am very pleased,” Cummings said.
“He had a nice gallop this morning, he just went around nice and collected and he looked really good.
“He was pretty keen, he wanted to go quicker and it was probably the best that he has pulled up from a gallop this preparation.”
The 2015 The BMW nominations are packed full of talent and Group 1 winner Protectionist, Silent Achiever, Red Cadeaux, Foreteller, Lucia Valentina, He’s Your Man, Rising Romance, Who Shot Thebarman, Beaten Up, Hawkspur, Opinion and Hampton Court as well as star Japanese galloper To The World are a chance of contesting the Group 1 event.
Cummings admits that Fiveandahalfstar will face stiff competition in The BMW, but he said that he is pleased to give the 2013 winner of the race an opportunity at what has previously been his best trip.
“It looks a tough enough race on Saturday, but he is one of the few horses that has already won the race along with Silent Achiever and she ran second to him the previous year,” Cummings said.
“We are pleased to see him get back to his right type of form.”
Fiveandahalfstar is currently available at 2015 The BMW odds of $17 with Ladbrokes, while To The World ($3.20) is a narrow favourite from Hartnell ($4), Protectionist ($7) and Red Cadeaux ($9).