Star Witness too good

Starcraft produced his first stakeswinner when the exciting Star Witness blew away his opposition in the Listed Talindert Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.

Star Witness was clearly on a mission from the time he left the mounting yard, proving a handful for Nicholas Hall.

Jumping well from the outside barrier, Star Witness was immediately restrained by Hall, who had been instructed to try to get cover behind other horses.

Star Witness objected to being held up, reefing and tearing and giving Hall anything but a quiet ride.

After 400 metres of trying to educate Star Witness ($5.00-$6.00-$5.50) to settle, Hall let go the brakes and the chestnut colt rapidly made ground.

He got level with Tricky Tricky ($3.50-$4.60) at the 100m mark and then went on to win easily by a length and a half.

The Peter Moody trained favourite Willow Creek ($2.80-$3.40F) ran on well for third, a neck behind Tricky Tricky.

"He's still fairly new and wants to overdo it a bit, even prior to the race leading up to it and then in the run but he was far too strong and looked like he hasn't even gone round" said Hall.

"I think it'll do him good for the long term to make him relax and settle and he's got the turn of foot to pick them up anyway."

Gerard Tesorerio, Assistant Trainer for Danny O'Brien was impressed with Star Witness.

"He wanted to over race a bit but I think the key that we told Nick was to make sure that he slotted in behind a horse because once he sees daylight he just wants to go and we probably saw that today."

Attempts to change Star Witness' racing style may well be counter productive as he seems so keen to dominate that he is a danger to himself and other horses around him when restrained.

"He's a jump and run horse pretty much", Tesorerio explained. "We don't really push our two-year-olds, but if they're showing up early then why no keep kicking on?"

Star Witness would now be one of the favourites for the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes to be run on 20th of February.

Tesorerio suggested that Star Witness would go straight into the Blue Diamond without another run.

"He's got plenty of prizemoney under his belt now and seems to run well fresh."

By Starcraft, Star Witness is out of the Lion Hunter mare Leone Chiara, with with O'Brien enjoyed stakes success a few years ago.

Clearly O'Brien is impressed with Starcraft's progeny.

Tesorerio said that Danny O'Brien had bought a few Starcraft yearlings at the recent Magic Millions Sales but did not have any other two year olds in the stable.

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Photos by Fiona Tomlin