It took John MacMillan years to break through for his first stakes win as a trainer but he is hoping it is only a short wait for another.
South Australian-based MacMillan will bring last-start Adelaide Listed winner Boristar to Flemington for Saturday’s Chester Manifold Stakes, adamant the gelding deserves another shot at Melbourne racing.
Boristar won the Christmas Handicap in Adelaide on December 26, MacMillan’s first stakes success.
Boristar will now strive to give his trainer his first Flemington win having gone within a half head of achieving it during Melbourne Cup week in November.
MacMillan’s two Melbourne city wins have been at Moonee Valley night meetings.
“But when you are talking about Listed races at Flemington you are going up to a whole other level,” he said.
“That’s why I’m realistic about this.
“I think this horse has certainly earned his chance. If I left him in Adelaide he’d just go around and win and then I’d be thinking, `I wonder if he was good enough for a Listed race in Melbourne’.
“So we might as well find out now.”
MacMillan had a big opinion of Boristar as a young horse and he won two races in his first preparation.
But during his next campaign he said it was discovered the horse suffered a fractured pelvis in the first of three starts for the preparation, keeping him on the sidelines for more than eight months.
“He came back to winning but not showing what he had done prior to the injury,” MacMillan said.
“For the next 18 months, to be honest, I had more or less accepted the fact that although he was a nice horse and he was winning races, he wasn’t going to be what we’d hoped he would be as a three-year-old.”
MacMillan, however, said the gelding has found his best form again this campaign.
The nominations include the Standish Handicap trifecta of Decircles, Lord Of The Sky and Reparations, last year’s winner Anlon, last-start Listed winner Tried And Tired and comeback Sydney galloper Red Excitement.
Should he win, MacMillan said he would look to give Boristar a shot at the CF Orr Stakes.