Co-trainer Peter Morgan is hopeful that Star Rolling can produce an improved performance when he contests the 2015 Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Star Rolling was sent to the spelling paddock after he suffered a minor hamstring injury in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Victoria Derby Day at Flemington last year, but he returned to racing in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 14.
There was a degree of betting support for Star Rolling heading into the Orr Stakes and he was settled in a midfield position in the early stages of the race, but he was unable to go with the leading contenders when he was asked for an extra effort and he could finish no better than tenth.
Morgan told Racing Ahead that Star Rolling has been a frustrating horse to train in the past 12 months, but he said that the Casino Prince worked strongly at the stables Whittlesea base earlier this week and he is hoping that the five-year-old will be suited by the step-up to 1800 metres for the Peter Young Stakes.
Regular jockey Baster opted not to push forward on Star Rolling in the Orr Stakes, despite the talented gelding producing the most impressive performance of his racing career to date when he was settled just behind the leader in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
There does not appear to be a great deal of speed in the 2015 Peter Young Stakes field and Morgan will be instructing Baster to push forward on Star Rolling when he jumps from barrier 12 in the Group 1 event.
“I think that is the way that he likes to run and depending on the pace of the race that is what we will be looking at,” Morgan said.
Star Rolling is currently available at 2015 Peter Young Stakes odds of $21 with Ladbrokes, while 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist ($3.90) is a narrow favourite from triple Group 1 winner Happy Trails ($5.50), the in-form Mourinho ($6), David Hayes-trained Spillway ($6.50), Western Australian galloper Real Love ($9) and veteran gelding Akzar ($12).
Star Rolling was included in the 2015 Australian Cup first acceptances that were released by Racing Victoria yesterday, but he needs to produce an improved performance in the Peter Young Stakes to press on to the Group 1 event at Flemington on March 14.