In-form four-year-old Stratum Star has continued his impressive Spring Carnival campaign at Caulfield this afternoon; completing an impressive start-to-finish performance for success in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m).
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Mark Zahra allowed Stratum Star to stride forward and take an ideal position on the heels of early leader Leebaz on the rails; given a nice bit of cover from last-start winner Fenway towards the bend.
Receiving and ideal run in transit, Stratum Star rounded onto the final straight in a great position and immediately responded when asked for an extra effort in the final 300m; pulling clear to find the line comfortably ahead of Awesome Rock and Leebaz.
Zahra was thrilled to pick up the ride on the Group 1 winner in the 2015 David Jones Cup and was quick to lay all the praise on the training efforts of Darren Weir and the class of his talented mount.
“I was just sort of weighing it up and I thought Fenway was the one to beat and I wanted to come out on her back thinking she’d take me into it and she was gone,” Zahra said.
“I had to go back in and I was lucky because Stephen Baster (Awesome Rock) saw it all happening and tried to hold me in there but only because the horse had a good turn of foot, I was able to poke through.
“Weiry is great to ride for – he leaves it up to me and I just came out and perched on him and that helped. He was that relaxed in the run and he had a quick length when I needed it.”
Weir was pleased with Stratum Star’s performance for success in the 2015 David Jones Cup and revealed the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Derby Day in a fortnight will figure as his next target.
“The short back up was never a problem, he had a terrific week at the beach,” Weir said after the race.
“He got a beautiful ride, it worked out well and the tactics were done perfectly again. He was very strong to the line.
“Obviously I thought he needed a run over 2000m today to be able to take on the Group 1 race over 2000m.
“The Mackinnon’s been the goal after he ran last week, I said to the owners he’s probably looking for 2000m now.
“I’m a big believer that horses run better second run over the trip so I was very keen to give him a run and toughen him up, and its worked so far.”
Stratum Star ran on for third in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 29th; progressing to a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) before again finishing third in last weekend’s Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).