Race jockey Dwayne Dunn give will give Strike The Stars a testing workout on the Caulfield course proper on Tuesday morning ahead of the gelding’s bid for the South Australian Derby.
Trainer Anthony Cummings is seeking back-to-back wins in the Adelaide Classic following the 2011 victory by Shadows In The Sun who had inferior form to Strike The Stars who ran fourth in the Australian Derby at his most recent start.
The 2500 metres and the left-handed direction hold no fears for Cummings with Strike The Stars whose placings include a second to Mosheen in the Australian Guineas in March.
“His work since the Derby has been excellent,” Cummings said.
“He recovers extremely well from his races and I think he has to be among the top three chances.
“The only run he’s had in the reverse direction was probably the best run of his preparation so I’m confident on that score.
“Dwayne Dunn will ride him in the morning.”
The winner of the Group Three Gloaming Stakes (1800m) in the Sydney spring, Strike The Stars goes to Morphettville for the sixth start of his campaign which could also include a trip to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby.
“There is a chance he could run in both,” Cummings said.
“The reality is this is the easiest racing he will have over the next couple of years.
“The racing will get tougher not easier when he steps up to weight-for-age.”
Dunn, who ended a frustrating run of Group One seconds in Saturday’s Sydney Cup on Niwot, is the sixth jockey to ride Strike The Stars this campaign.
Craig Williams was aboard in the Derby while his other riders have been Nathan Berry, Nicholas Hall, Hugh Bowman and Blake Shinn.
The Leon Corstens-trained Zabeelionaire was TAB Sportsbet’s $4.40 favourite from Strike The Stars ($6) on Monday with Vatuvei and Pelicano both at $7.
The final field and barrier draw will be decided on Tuesday.