Wednesday, 9 May 2012
: Strike The Stars has been spelled following his fourth placing in the Group 1 South Australian Derby on Saturday, ending a frustrating autumn for the Anthony Cummings three-year-old.
| Strike The Stars (outside)|
Photo by Racing and Sports
The Randwick trainer has opted out of next month's Queensland Derby to give Strike The Stars
the entire winter to recharge, before bringing him back for a light spring campaign ahead of a run in next year's Doncaster Handicap.
Cummings' long-term goal with the horse is a 2013 spring staying campaign in Melbourne as a five-year-old.
“With all the imports coming out, the local four-year-olds are going to find it tough against the older seasoned stayers in the major staying events,” Cummings said of his spring plans later this year.
“If I'm going to take him to those races it'll be a year later.
“We made a decision in pushing to Adelaide to give him a lighter spring as a trade off for doing that. He'll probably have two runs in the spring and he'll be aimed at the Emirates on the last day at Flemington.
“That gives us a chance to give him a nice break and be back for that in plenty of time.
“Then we have a shot at the Doncaster with him in the autumn and then go from there to a more traditional staying program with him as a five-year-old.”
Last year's Gloaming Stakes (1800m) winner failed to salute in six attempts this autumn and grabbed just a solitary placing, finishing second behind Mosheen
in the Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington.
Since then he ran seventh in the Randwick Guineas (1600m), fifth in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m), then grabbed a pair of fourth placings in the Australian Derby (2400m) and the South Australian Derby (2500m).
“The second in the race at Flemington proved that he was up to that standard, it took a freak ride to beat him that day,” Cummings said.
“We had high expectations after that and plainly they just weren't quite met with his runs after that in Sydney for various reasons.
“There were a couple of average rides and that's by the jockeys' admission, I'm not looking to be critical of them, it's just going on what they said.
“That happens, that's part of it all, you've just got to forget all that and move on.”
Strike The Stars loomed up in the South Australian Derby and looked set to grab his first Group 1 win halfway down the straight, but faded late on.
“It wasn't a bad run but it wasn't our best expectation,” Cummings said.
“[Jockey] Dwayne [Dunn] just thought from the half mile on that he wanted to get on one rein a bit and thought that he was feeling something behind.
“He pulled up fine but Dwayne thought he raced below his best. He goes to the paddock off the back of that.”