Lightly raced Star Rolling could be rolling with the stars during the Spring Carnival if the four year old lives up to trainer Paul Morgan’s ambitious expectations.
The winner of three form four starts, the Casino Prince gelding is ready to resume racing in restricted company, but that has not stopped Morgan from nominating him for the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 and the Group 1 $2.65m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19.
“Getting in there might be beyond us, but whether he’s good enough I don’t know,” Morgan told Racing Victoria.
“On this morning’s work he may be better than I think he is.”
Morgan’s opinion of Star Rolling skyrocketed this morning with a super gallop at Moonee Valley, beating Stakes-winning stablemate Lucky Penny, running home the final 400m of the 1000m gallop in 23.68s.
Star Rolling is a winner of his last two starts at Flemington over 2000m and looked well above average with a last start two and a half length victory on June 22.
Morgan, who trains in partnership with Craig Widdison at Whittlesea, is hoping that Star Rolling can win some early Spring races to help qualify for the majors later in the carnival.
Star Rolling has been nominated for two races at Moonee Valley this Saturday and his chances of getting a run are better in the 1200m 0-90 Handicap in which he is eighteenth in the order of entry as opposed to the 1500m Handicap where he looks no chance of gaining a start from number twenty-nine on the list.
“I’d love him to run in the 1500 on Saturday but he’s 29 in order and he won’t get a run,” Morgan said.
“In the sprint we’re 18 in order. If we don’t get a run I’m not sure where we’ll go.”
The Listed $120,000 Slickpix Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on August 31 looks ideal for Star Rolling and Morgan is hoping to pick up enough prizemoney to earn a start in the Group 3 $150,000 D’Urban Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 21.
If Morgan was lucky enough to get Star Rolling to win the Naturalism Stakes, he would be exempt free from the ballot for the Caulfield Cup.
Star Rolling’s galloping companion Lucky Penny, the winner of four of her six starts, is certain to gain a start on Saturday and is number four in order of entry in the $80,000 Dr. Sheahan Plate over 1200m for mares.