Trainer Peter Morgan believes Star Rolling could have won last year’s Caulfield Cup but for being balloted out of several lead-up events.
The promising stayer ensured he will be one of the front-line candidates for the 2014 Caulfield Cup with a hard-fought victory in the G2 Lawrence Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.
Star Rolling (5g Casino Prince – Uneasy by Zabeel) settled outside the leader Zamorar and maintained a strong gallop to defeat Spillway by a short half-head at Caulfield. Bookmakers reacted by firming his Cup quote to $23 behind pre-post favourite The Offer ($17).
“He’s ready to live up to the expectations we had 12 months ago,” Morgan said. “He was galloping like a Group 1 horse but was unable to obtain a run in our preferred lead-ups.”
The Casino Prince gelding won 4 of his first 6 starts last year culminating with a Listed victory at Morphettville in September. Nevertheless, a low rating meant he was discarded from overflow fields.
“That was virtually his first preparation,” Morgan recalled. “He began racing in April last year and only had a few weeks off before we started getting him ready for the spring carnival.”
Star Rolling will continue his current spring programme in the G2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6.
He is among 6 stakes winners, topped by champion colt All Too Hard, that have emerged from the first crop of Vinery sire Casino Prince. His NZ bred dam is from the immediate family of Group 1 winners Fun On The Run (Jarden Mile) and Tall Poppy (New Zealand Stakes).
Casino Prince will stand for a $16,500 (inc gst) service fee at Vinery this year.