Fiveandahalfstar will not be taking his spot amongst the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas field in today’s race after being scratched from the event.
The three-year-old, who was on the second line of betting for the feature, will now be saved until the $2.25 million The BMW at the same track next weekend.
Trainer Anthony Cummings made the decision to scratch Fiveandahalfstar after his morning gallop on Friday revealed the talented stayer was not yet fully recovered from his gut-buster second placing in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes last Saturday.
“Once I decided to gallop him today it put tomorrow out of the question,” Cummings said.
“I am thinking his gallop this morning and another one on Sunday will probably get him to where he needs to be without having to worry about running on Saturday.”
His withdrawal from the Rosehill Guineas field has left It’s A Dundeel as the uncontested $1.40 favourite for the $500,000 race, which now has just eight runners.
Fiveandahalfstar has won three of his 19 race starts and has earned more than $1.3 million in prize money.
The Victorian Derby winner has struggled to claim a win this autumn, finishing second in all four of his race starts.
With the Hotel Grand gelding out of the race, jockey Craig Newitt’s confidence has risen even higher with his runner Hvasstan.
“I’ve got a lot of time for him,” Newitt said.
“My first ride on him was in the Australian Guineas where he was the best run in the race by a hundred yards, and then he came out and franked the form by winning the Alister Clark.
“All reports are he’s improved again.”
Hvasstan won his last start in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes and will be out to claim his first Group 1 win in today’s Rosehill Guineas.