Fiveandahalfstar did enough in a maiden race at Canterbury on Wednesday to convince trainer Anthony Cummings to back him up three days later in the Group Two Stan Fox Stakes.
Cummings sent Fiveandahalfstar into the NGS Super Maiden Plate (1250m) with the plan of also going to Saturday’s Stan Fox (1500m) at Rosehill if the three-year-old pleased him with his performance.
Fiveandahalfstar was back in the field and didn’t have the clearest of passages in the early part of the straight, finishing along the inside for sixth behind the Gary Portelli-trained debutant Rebel Dane.
“I’ll back him up (in the Stan Fox). I was really pleased with his run today,” Cummings said.
“He got back and was still a bit green. He’s still got his L-Plates on but he’s a really nice horse with good ability.
“He’s still learning and still getting fit and I think the back-up at this stage of his preparation will certainly help him play a part in the Spring Carnival in Melbourne.
“He was still a bit on the new side today.”
He is one of seven acceptors for the Stan Fox which includes the Golden Rose runner-up Albrecht and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Kabayan.
Cummings said a start in the Group One Victoria Derby (2500m) was in his sights with Fiveandahalfstar.
“He’s nominated for the Derby and he’s a big, strong gelding and is coping with the whole deal so I would have no hesitation in running a horse like that in the Derby if he shows his form warrants it,” he said.
Kabayan was installed $2 favourite on Wednesday with TAB fixed odds for the Stan Fox just ahead of Albrecht at $2.20.
Fiveandahalfstar was at $26.