Star Witness Falls Short Of UK Dream In July Cup

Star Witness

Star Witness will now retire to Widden Stud in New South Wales

The racing career of Star Witness has come to an end with the Australian sprinter failing to finish on a fairy tale in the July Cup at Newmarket in England.

He received a sensational level of support both here and in the UK before the race but the hype far outweighed the end result as he faded to finish 10th well behind the winner.

Dream Ahead was the horse which ultimately ran to glory ahead of the second placed Bated Breath and Hitchens in third.

It’s a disappointing result for Star Witness who showed so much promise in his earlier runs.

He was second first up in the Kings Stand Stakes before backing that up with a third in the Golden Jubilee.

Connections were hoping for that one major UK scalp before he retired to Stud however he’ll still be an attractive prospect for Widden Stud in New South Wales.

Luck hasn’t always been on the horses side this preparation and that was the case again when jockey Steven Arnold had to start his run earlier than anticipated.

He loomed as a winning threat with two furlongs to go but once again he peaked on his run with 200m left in the race.

“There was no speed early on,” Arnold said.

“He was a little bit plain today and I’m disappointed.”

Australian horse Starspangledbanner won the Golden Jubilee and July Cup last year but apart from that it’s been a bit of a hoodoo race for Australians.

The 2010 winner was under the care of Aidan O’Brien at the time, no Australian trainer has ever brought across a horse to win the July Cup.

The dips and rises of the straight track are somewhat of an untried assignment for our locals horses and the likes of Takeover Target and Choisir have also struggled.

You could also say the race has been a bit of a hoodoo for female jockeys as well, at least that was one wall busted with Hayley Turner producing the winning ride.

In fact in winning the event she becomes the first female jockey to ever claim an outright Group 1 win in the UK.

The previous best result was held by Alex Greaves who dead-heated for first in the 1997 Nunthorpe Stakes, the first time a woman had contested a Group 1 event on the flat.

“I’m just so thrilled as I had it on my list of things to do,” Turner said.

“I only found out I was riding him two days ago and I haven’t sat on the horse before, so I can’t take much credit.

“William Buick told me how to ride him, and he said not to get there too soon.

“Obviously the trainer has done a fantastic job and thanks to the owners for having me on board.

“I’m delighted about it.”

It’s a fantastic result for the horse which as a juvenile was rated alongside Frankel as two-year-old champion.

He had only had one run since coming back for this preparation where he was short of a run coming home fifth in the St James Palace Stakes.

“She’s a fantastic rider,” victorious trainer David Simcock said.

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