Punters Witness a rising Star

In one of the more exhilarating Blue Diamond finishes, the Danny O’Brien-trained and Nick Hall-ridden Star Witness flew from the clouds to claim the $1million Group One Arrowfield Stud Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield this afternoon.

Almost reminiscent of the 2005 Caulfield Guineas victory by God’s Own over Paratroopers, but with the explosiveness of All Silent in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Sprint (1200m) whom Hall also partnered, Star Witness was simply breathtaking.

With only a handful of runners behind him, Star Witness spotted the leaders countless amount of lengths on the home turn before sprinting down the straight like a scolded cat to grab Shaaheq in the shadows of the post.

A flamboyant Hall wildly saluted the healthy crowd in the grandstand, while assistant trainer Gerard Tesoriero sprinted from his viewing position to embrace O’Brien who was visibly elated with the win.

Star Witness ($8-$10) defeated Shaaheq ($9-$11) by a half neck with Beneteau ($3-$3.20 fav) beaten a similar margin in third.

Willow Creek ($12) overcame an interrupted run in transit to finish a further three quarters of a length away in fourth, while Psychologist ($7-$8) veered out horrendously at the start from the outside alley before finishing a admirable fifth.

Crystal Lily ($10-$11-$10) weakened into sixth but was only beaten 2.1 lengths from Star Witness. After that there was a long gap of two and three quarter lengths back to Secession ($8-$10).

“It was very exciting, not much went right and he sort of wobbled on the corner and he was last when they straightened but I’ve got a lot of confidence in this colt and only top class horses can do,” O’Brien said.

“Even when I knew he was so far off I knew what sort of furlong he can run at the finish and fortunately he did it.”

Hall appeared to be floating on air when he addressed the waiting media throng about the performance of the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale graduate that cost $150,000 last year.

“He came of the bridle and that’s how exactly I wanted him to be,” Hall said.

“I wanted him to float like that and I want him to take those steps like that just to be a professional racehorse that now he can come off the bridle.

“I followed Luke Nolen on Willow Creek and Daniel Ganderton on Beneteau, two horses you want to follow into the race.

“I just came off the back of Daniel (Ganderton) and was pretty confident,” Hall said before adding “As long as he was balanced that was the key and when they run it hard, they are going to start to come back to you.”

O’Brien said that Star Witness was a chance of running the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce (1400m) in a fortnight, but is more focused on the bigger picture, next season.

“I’m hoping he is not your average two-year-old that wins a Blue Diamond, I hope he’s got more scope for improvement and hopefully we’ve got a real striking colt to race next season,” he said.

“We really don’t aim anything with the two-year-olds.

“We get them in and educate them and obviously his two runs have been excellent and we never ever considered taking him to the Gold Coast (for the Magic Millions).

“We ran him in the Talindert Stakes and he ran so well so we had to run him here today and he’s a colt with a huge future particularly next season.

“He’s well above average.”

Unbeaten from three starts and with over $700,000 in prizemoney to his name, that last comment may prove to be the biggest understatement of 2010.

Story by Virtual Form Guide, to view full story click here

Photo by Fiona Tomlin