Star Witness Favourite For Kings Stand

By: Ryan Clark
June 14th, 2011
Star Witness

Star Witness

The planets continue to align for Star Witness as he nears the Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Australian sprinter is considered a major chance to take out the feature event and luck appears to be going his way in the final few days leading up to the jump.

The barrier draw has seen Star Witness nab gate 18, something that connections were hoping for.

While traditionally such a wide barrier wouldn’t seem ideal the Kings Stand is a 1000m trek down the straight at Royal Ascot.

This means Star Witness can find the firmer and less cut up ground on the far outside fence, something that will help him no end.

Australian horses have a very impressive record in the race and the outside gates have proved a blessing in the past as well.

Miss Andretti started from 19 when she won the event in 2007 and Scenic Shot was the widest in 2009 when winning from 15.

There has been plenty of support for the Australian this year as well in a field containing nine overseas horses.

Trainer Danny O’Brien is well aware of the expectations his horse has going into the race.

“We’ve got a bit to live up to but this horse is well capable of doing it and we’re hoping he can,” O’Brien said.

“He’s settled in very well and he took the trip really well.

“He’s enjoying Newmarket, it’s a great place if you’re a horse, and he’s certainly hasn’t had any issues since he’s arrived.”

Star Witness has had solid form in Australia but the constant presence of Black Caviar and Hay List has detracted from the statistics.

When you look at the performances though his only flop was when running seventh in the Newmarket Handicap and O’Brien says that is an event which can be discounted.

“It was a race where we had some issues on the day,” he said.

“They were filming Top Gear next door and we had basically a British Grand Prix happening next door to the racecourse and the horse completely lost composure with the car noise all day.

“It was a good experience for him. He ran his race before the race.

“It certainly wasn’t a true indication of his form. As long as you don’t have any cars racing at Royal Ascot, I’m sure we won’t have a repeat of that.”

Like many O’Brien see’s many unknowns in the Kings Stand field and it’s tough to determine the top picks.

In the current betting markets though Star Witness is at 4 to 1, Sole Power (Ireland) is at 7 to 1 and Kingsgate Native (England) is at 9 to 1.

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