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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
The Astrologist will attempt to go one better at Group 1 level when he runs in the William Reid Stakes

Newmarket Handicap runner-up The Astrologist will make his debut at The Valley on Friday night looking to go one better in a Group 1 race.

The Leon and Troy Corstens-trained sprinter runs in the William Reid Stakes (1200m), his first run since Roch ‘N’ Horse beat him in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 12.

The Astrologist had his first look at The Valley on Monday and Troy Corstens said it was a learning experience for the galloper.

“He wobbled around the top corner a little bit, but not badly, but when he was on the bottom corner, when he was on his right leg and going a bit faster, he was really good,” Corstens told RSN.

“It’s quite unbelievable that a horse of his age and with as many starts that he’s never been to The Valley, so it was interesting and a good exercise to take him there.”

The Astrologist has raced 23 times, for seven wins, with seven of his last eight starts being on the straight course at Flemington.

His lone start away from Flemington in that period was when running third in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last July.

“I think we race him down the straight more because he is so good, it’s not because he can’t get around a corner at all,” Corstens said.

“It will be good to see how he goes in a high-pressure race on a tight, turning track.”

Corstens said the Newmarket had been a destination race because of the light handicap and while The Astrologist performed better than his price indicated, it did not come as a shock to the stable.

But Corstens realises the jump to weight-for-age company and racing under lights for the first time will be something new to The Astrologist.

And there is also the unbeaten mare Marabi, aiming to make it eight straight, to contend with.

Corstens said following Friday night’s race the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) at Morhettville in May and the Group 1 Stradbroke (1400m) at Eagle Farm in June were potential options.

 
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