Strike The Stars will put his Spring Champion Stakes credentials on show when he shoots for a breakthrough win in Saturday’s Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill.
If he can shed his maiden status in the Gloaming, Strike The Stars could emerge as favourite for the Group One feature two weeks later.
Strike The Stars is currently on the fourth line of betting for the Spring Champion (2000m) and runs as a short-priced favourite in the Group Three Gloaming (1800m) on the back of a strong weight-for-age placing.
“He did run well at weight-for-age last time (in the Chelmsford Stakes) and this is a serious test for him,” TAB Sportsbet’s Glenn Munsie said.
“He’s coming from a different form line to the others. Only two races really shape the Spring Champion market and they are the Spring Stakes from Wednesday and the Gloaming.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Strike The Stars comes out and is really impressive, he could challenge for favouritism because I don’t think the Spring Stakes told us a real lot as four of them crossed the line close together.”
Spring Stakes runner-up Rekindled Alliance moved to $4.80 favourite for the Spring Champion after Wednesday’s race at Newcastle ahead of Ambidexter ($5.50) and Spring Stakes winner Darci Be Good ($6.50).
Strike The Stars, $7.50 in Spring Champion betting, was thrown in the deep end in the Group Two Chelmsford (1600m) at Warwick Farm two weeks ago and made an impression finishing third behind Trusting and My Kingdom Of Fife.
He drops back to three-year-old company in the Gloaming in search of his first win from six starts.
Trainer Anthony Cummings believes running Strike The Stars in the Chelmsford rather than the Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) last start will stand the gelding in good stead for his major spring goals.
“The better preparation for him for this race and the Spring Champion was to run over the mile and on that day it was the only race available,” Cummings said.
“I was very pleased with his run last start, the race didn’t fall in his favour but nevertheless he ran very well.”
Cummings is looking forward to Strike The Stars stepping up in distance again on Saturday.
“He’s had a pretty good week and he’s in good shape,” the trainer said.
“He’s certainly ready for the 1800 metres and will enjoy it, but in reality he’ll be better again at 2000 metres (in the Spring Champion).”