Star Witness has been confirmed as a runner in this weekend’s Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot with Danny O’Brien saying the horse is in tremendous shape following his second place finish in the Kings Stand Stakes.
O’Brien made the call this morning, a decision that will not only delight him but also racing fans around Australia.
That will give us two entries in the race with Peter Moody’s Hinchinbrook making his European debut in the event.
Another man who will certainly be delighted with the news is jockey Steven Arnold who came so close on Tuesday and has every chance to go one better this weekend.
He rates Star Witness as a good prospect and was happy with the way he handled himself the first time out.
“I thought his run was terrific (Kings Stand), he got a little bit worked up before the race,” Arnold said.
“They went very quick and I was probably exposed a fair way out.
” I still thought probably a furlong out he could win but I saw the other horse come up inside me and he was going to be very hard to beat.”
Star Witness was slowest out of the gates in the Kings Stand and made up a mountain of ground along the fence in the middle part of the race to put himself within striking distance.
Arnold feels that the conditions of the Golden Jubilee will suit him just as well, if not better.
“He’s been successful at that trip before and he seems to go down the straight pretty well,” he said.
“The next couple of days are crucial but if he gets a good track there’s no reason he can’t run really well.
“If he can turn up in the shape he was in on Tuesday he’ll be a big chance.”
Arnold was also a keen spectator last night when he watched the other Australian So You Think run around in the Prince Of Wales Stakes.
He says the horse gave it everything he had and like the rest of Australia he was gutted at the loss.
“It was disappointing for everyone for him to get beat, I thought he was pretty gallant in defeat,” he said.
Arnold says the horse showed no signs of weakness in the paddock before the race and to his eye his condition was fine.
“He looked pretty good to me, he looked pretty fit, I suppose he had a couple of easier lead up runs,” he said.
“I didn’t think fitness would be a worry.”
He’s another who is unconvinced with the use of pacemakers and he’s especially unsure about it in the case for So You Think.
“I don’t know if that actually works in his favour,” he said.
“It’s good for a backmarker but if you’re on the speed you probably want a softer run not a harder run.”