QTC Cup topweight Stratum Star is on trial for the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) when he runs at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Stratum Star has finished down the track at his last two starts and leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir said a much improved performance was needed in the Group 2 $175,000 MIRVAC QTC Cup (1300m) to warrant a start in the Stradbroke Handicap Handicap next week at Eagle Farm.
“He needs to improve, but if he bounces back to somewhere near his best form, it’s not out of his reach,” Weir told the Herald Sun.
“We’ve accepted with him in case he gets the job done on Saturday.”
Stratum Star has proved himself at Group 1 level in the past with a win in the $400,000 Anthea Crawford Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Stratum four year old also ran third to Lucky Hussler in the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield at his next start and was runner up to Turn Me Loose in the Group 1 $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during this year’s Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Dean Yendall has recovered from bruised ribs he sustained in a barrier incident at Ararat two weeks ago and will partner Stratum Star in the QTC Cup taking over from Brad Rawiller who rode the four year old at his previous start when last of thirteen in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 14.
And Mark Zahra was aboard the start before when sixth to Winx in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on day one of ‘The Championships’ on April 2.
“Yendall rode at Warrnambool for us Monday morning and yesterday at Coleraine just to test him out,” Weir said.
“Deano will be right. He rode Shades Of Bella well the other day and I reckon he’ll suit Stratum Star, his style gets him going.”
Stratum Star is at the healthy odds of $13 with Ladbrokes.com.au and will jump from barrier eleven in the QTC Cup field that has been reduced to twelve runners following the scratching of Artlee and Office Bearer.
QTC Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.60 Kaepernick, $5.50 Spill The Beans, $6.50 Snippets Land, $7.50 Perfect Fit, $8.50 Target In Sight, $12 Eloping, $13 Stratum Star, $15 Sure And Fast, $16 Trubia, $19 Sacred Star, $21 Steel Zip, $67 Liberation.