Star Rolling’s win in the Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday has prompted co-trainer Craig Widdison to target the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
Widdison, who shares the training duties with Peter Morgan at Whittlesea, said that he would change tact with Star Rolling and now aim towards the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) on October 25 after originally intending to pursue a start in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18.
“We’re not sure he’s a 2400m horse and with the internationals it looks like being a strong Caulfield Cup,” Widdison told the Herald Sun.
“We think he’s better suited over 2040m, a distance we know he handles.”
“We’re now in a good position.”
“We don’t have to push him to get into the Cox Plate as we should now be assured of a run and we can take our time with him.”
Star Rolling looks to have taken the next step when he held off the fast finishing David Hayes import Spillway to beat a smart field in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes after running some handy races during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
The Casino Prince five year old was beaten a nose when second to Chase The Rainbow in the Group 3 $150,000 Herald Sun Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Caulfield on February 8 before running third to Fiorente in the Group 2 $220,000 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 22.
Star Rolling was then tested in Group 1 company but failed to beat a runner home when ninth to Fiorente again in the $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8.
Last season’s leading trainer Darren Weir just gave Puissance De Lune a pass mark after the big grey finished midfield when sixth to Star Rolling.
“He was a little disappointing, but he wasn’t beaten far and didn’t have a lot of luck,” Weir said.
“It wasn’t a great run, but it wasn’t a bad run either.”
Star Rolling is likely to head to the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 while Puissance De Lune would run in the Group 1 $400,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30 and then onto to the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13.
Star Rolling is still at long odds for the Cox Plate with Ladbrokes.com.au at $41 while Puissance De Lune is marked as $26 chance.
Multiple Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Silent Achiever heads the market order at $11 just in front of Irish galloper Adelaide at $13 while Hong Kong Group1 winner Dan Excel, English galloper Mukhadram and dual Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls, all share the next line of betting at $15.