In a season lacking an early standout among our 3yo fillies, Startantes can vault to the top of that division in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The fourth-leg of the Princess Series is worth $750,000 and banking that purse will also promote her sire Star Turn to the top of the Australian Second Season Sires’ premiership. The Vinery resident already leads the winners (10) and wins (15) ladders but is $80,000 shy of top spot on the prizemoney table.
Startantes earned a trip to the Sydney spring carnival on the strength of 5 wins from 8 starts in Brisbane and she responded with a rattling run to finish sixth in last week’s $1 million Golden Rose (Gr.1, 1400m) at Rosehill.
“There may not be a standout but I’m not about to underestimate a Flight Stakes field,” trainer Robert Heathcote said on Wednesday. “She gave it a crack in the Golden Rose and it was a gutsy effort to come from so far back on a track that favoured the speed.
“There’s no problem with the seven-day back-up but I am a bit wary if Randwick doesn’t recover from all the rain forecast later this week.”
Bookmakers firmed Startantes from $8 into $3.50 favouritism after her connections paid a $22,000 late-entry fee into the Flight Stakes. “She deserves to be favourite,” Heathcote added. “Her final sectional (400m in 22.11s) was only bettered by Artorius and Anamoe last week. That’s not bad for a little filly from Queensland.”
Star Turn was the first second season sire to reach double-figure winners this season when the Team Hawkes-trained Saskatoon scored at Cranbourne last Thursday. His Adelaide 3yo Max Fire followed that with a running double at Morphettville on Saturday.
“Max Fire is a nice horse in the making,” trainer Travis Doudle said following his front-running victory over Victorian visitor Man Of Heart (Reliable Man). “I told Ben (Price) to get rolling to put the others under pressure and he rode the horse a treat.
“He came to us unraced from another stable so we took him up to Port Augusta for a dirt race first-up and he impressed me,” Doudle recalled. “He ran third and then handled a slippery track to win at Oakbank before coming to town today.”
Max Fire was bred by Randwick Bloodstock’s Brett Howard from Irish-bred mare Witwatersrand (Unfuwain) It’s a classic-winning European family going back to Valley Of Gold (Shirley Heights) who won an Italian Oaks Gr.1 and Prix Cléopâtre Gr.3 at Saint-Cloud.
Star Turn has 7 lots catalogued for the Magic Millions 2YO Sale at the Gold Coast on Monday, November 8. Baramul Stud has entered all bar one with a highlight being Lot 126, the half-brother to Chaillot who won the Testa Rossa Stakes (LR, 1300m) at Sandown last Saturday.
Chaillot was the topical tip being a daughter of Testa Rossa who is living out a comfy retirement at Vinery. She ran down Vinery’s Group 1 graduate Begood Toya Mother to remain on track for the VRC Empire Rose Stakes (Gr.1, 1600m) at Flemington on October 30.
Vinery stands Star Turn for $16,500 (inc GST) with payment on a live foal. For bookings or further information, please contact Adam White (0414 800 918) or Harry Roach (0401 970 006). Testa Rossa is also at Vinery Stud, happily enjoying his retirement.