With the benefit of an extended break, co-trainer Craig Widdison is upbeat about the chances of Group winner Star Rolling recapturing form this campaign.
A winner of the Group Two PB Lawrence Stakes early last season, Star Rolling was unplaced at his next four spring starts and again in two autumn runs, all at Group One or Group Two level.
He resumes from an eight-month break in Saturday’s Group Three Sandown Stakes (1500m), while a lucrative interstate race is on the radar later this campaign.
“We’ve got the Magic Millions race over 1800 metres in mind for him,” Widdison said.
The $1 million Magic Millions Trophy (1800m) is on January 9 at the Gold Coast.
Star Rolling has not started since he finished second last in the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield in February.
Widdison said the six-year-old had had a few little niggles but “seems to be great this time around”.
“He’d never had a really good break, so we gave him a good break and he seems to have appreciated it,” Widdison said.
“He trialled at Cranbourne a few weeks ago and it was probably as good as he has trialled for a long time.
“He’s been to Sandown for a couple of gallops and he worked really well there on Tuesday morning.
“We’ve made a few gear changes just to change things around and he seems in great order.
“He’s had no interruptions this preparation and the Sandown race looked a nice kick-off point.”
Star Rolling has won five of his 18 starts, two of them at black-type level with his Lawrence victory 15 months ago his most recent.
“I think his work has been every bit as good as leading into that,” Widdison said.
“If he can run like that he would be hard to beat.”
Stablemate Northern Model is a genuine chance in Saturday’s Listed City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes (1400m) after hitting the line strongly late for fourth in the Crockett Stakes last start.
“She worked with Star Rolling at Sandown on Tuesday and we were rapt with both of them,” Widdison said.