Trainer Peter Morgan is hoping that Star Rolling will be able to take a sit just off the lead when he makes his Group 1 debut in the 2014 Australian Cup at Flemington this weekend.
Star Rolling has generally been ridden towards the middle of the field in his ten career starts, but was taken straight to the lead in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 22 and fought home bravely to finish third behind Fiorente and Mourayan.
Morgan and trainer partner Craig Widdison were thrilled with the effort of Star Rolling in the Peter Young Stakes, but Morgan told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he would prefer if the son of Casino Prince did not lead in the Australian Cup this weekend and said he hoped Shamus Award would take up the running in the Group 1 event.
“We are hoping that we won’t have to lead this time and we probably won’t because the three-year-old will probably lead us,” Morgan said.
“We have always taken a sit with him; when he led the other day it was the first time that he has ever led in a race.
“We want to have a sit if we can.”
Morgan admitted earlier in the autumn that he wasn’t particularly happy with the condition of Star Rolling after he finished fifth in the Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on January 25, but believes he is now close to peak fitness.
The veteran trainer took his star galloper to work at Sandown yesterday and said that he couldn’t be happier with his work.
“I am very happy with him; he went to Sandown yesterday morning and worked very well,” Morgan said.
“I have said during the spring that I had him in better order than I did early autumn and we struggled a little bit with him, but I think that he has really hit his straps this week.
“It wasn’t a testing one, but I like them to have a little bit of a trip away if I can because it just gives them a little bit of an adrenaline rush.
“Sandown is a terrific course to work on and they get a bit quiet staying here on the farm.”
Star Rolling is currently available at 2014 Australian Cup odds of $16 at Ladbrokes; with Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente ($2.20) a clear favourite from two-time Group 1 winner Shamus Award ($4.20) and Australian Guineas placegetter Thunder Fantasy ($9).