Star Rolling broke through for his maiden win at Group level with a narrow victory over Spillway in the 2014 P.B. Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield this afternoon.
Star Rolling was settled just behind the leader Zamorar in the early stages of the race by jockey Stephen Baster and the Casino Prince gelding hit the front coming around the final turn.
Spillway stormed home late and looked as though he may have got his nose down at the right time, but Star Rolling was able to hold on at the line to claim the fifth race win of his career.
Co-trainer Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison have always believed that the Star Rolling was capable of performing at the highest level of racing and Morgan said after the race that he believes the tough gelding is in for the best preparation of his career.
“Last spring I reckon I had the best horse, but I kept getting balloted out and we had nowhere to go,” Morgan said.
“When we came to autumn I didn’t have quite the same horse, but he still ran good races against good horses and I think this spring I have him back to how he was last spring.
“I don’t think that he was quiet fit and I think that there will be a lot of improvement in him.”
Morgan revealed last month that the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) would be the major 2014 Spring Racing Carnival target for Star Rolling and Widdison revealed that after the P.B. Lawrence Stakes that the five-year-old would likely have his next race start in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6.
“He will probably go three weeks into the Dato’ now, he seems to like Moonee Valley so that should suit him well,” Widdison said.
“He should improve a lot from that and it will be onwards and upwards.
“We have always had the Caulfield Cup in mind for a horse like him and that is the path we will take at this stage and we will see how it plays out.”
Veteran hoop Stephen Baster was riding Star Rolling under race conditions for the first time and he gave the talented gelding an excellent run into the race.
Baster had plenty of success with the Morgan/Widdison stable with talented filly Eloping during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing and 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he was delighted to be given an opportunity on Star Rolling in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes.
“Going over his form it feels like he has been around forever, but that was only his 12th start, which is amazing,” Baster said.
“Everything he does in his trackwork has been fantastic and I have been lucky enough to have a bit of luck.
“I have had a lot of success with Peter over the last year or so and to get on him I was wrapped.
“On the line I thought I got bit, so I was very happy that he got his nose out there.”
The returning Puissance De Lune was caught wide throughout the run and he was unable to figure in the final stages of the race.