Big things ahead for Star Witness

Trainer Danny O'Brien predicted huge things for Star Witness as the two-year-old won the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes.

A $150,000 purchase at the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale, Star Witness is a big powerful son of former high-class galloper Starcraft who won five Group 1 races in four countries.

The chestnut is out of the Group 3-winning Lion Hunter mare Leone Chiara who was trained by O'Brien who has a share in the ownership of the colt.

"He was a very nice yearling, almost the spitting image of his mother actually, but a male," O'Brien said.

"It's a really good family and we've had really good success with it and the Starcraft is kicking in as well. I think he's the best one so far."

Ridden by Nick Hall who landed his third Group One success, Star Witness ($10) looked as though he was too far back to win on straightening but unleashed an impressive burst to score by a half-neck from Shaaheq ($11) with Beneteau ($3.20 fav) the same margin away third.

"I knew what sort of furlong (200m) he could run at the finish and fortunately he did it," O'Brien said.

"I'm hoping he's not your average two-year-old that can win the Blue Diamond. He's got a lot more scope than that and hopefully we've got a really exciting colt to race on next season."

O'Brien said he would not pursue a start for Star Witness in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on April 3 as he wasn't entered for the race.

He said if he runs again this preparation it will be in the Group 2 Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 6.

"We don't aim them for anything the two-year-olds, we get them in and educate them and his two wins had been excellent (before Saturday)," he said.

"We didn't even consider taking him to the Magic Millions, we just ran him in the Talindert and when he ran so well obviously we had to run him here today."

"I really think he's a colt with a huge future, particularly next season. He's well above average."

O'Brien, whose stables are at Flemington, started using his property at Barwon Heads on the Bellarine Peninsula in September as an alternative to prepare his team.

"This horse has spent most of his campaign down there," he said.

O'Brien has now won two of the Melbourne Racing Club's major races having won the Caulfield Cup with Master O'Reilly in 2007.

Hall is the son of Greg Hall who won Victoria's premier juvenile event on three occasions - Zeditave (1988), Lady Jakeo (1993) and Danelagh (1998).

"Two-year-old races are always an unknown, they are untapped and to come out of it number one is the best feeling ever," Nick Hall said.

"They smoked early, they really gave it to their horses and I just wanted to switch him off.

"Once he did back behind them like that I knew he'd be strong.

"He's got a bright future. He relaxes and comes back and he might even get 1400 metres so there is scope there and depth."

Story by Herald Sun, to view Herald Sun Super Racing website click here

Photo by Herald-Sun

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