Star trial ahead of Coolmore Stakes

Local trainer Danny O’Brien was a satisfied man after watching his Group I Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) contender hold his own against Hay List in a Flemington jump-out on Tuesday.

Star Witness finished second, within a length of arguably Australia’s best speedster in an 800-metre heat where the time recorded was 45.13 seconds with the final 400 metres clocked in 21.51 seconds.

“He seemed to be comfortable enough keeping up with him,” O’Brien said.

“There’s not many horses going better than Hay List and we sat on his tail without doing too much work and they ran pretty decent time so were confident with where he’s at and its full steam ahead for Saturday.”

O’Brien said he was not disappointed with Star Witness’s last performance when beaten four length into fourth place by the queen of Australia’s sprinting fraternity, Black Caviar, in the Group II Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield on October 9.

“He goes down the straight better than he does around a bend,” O’Brien said. “He did win a Blue Diamond but he fumbled his way around the bend in that and he stumbled around the bend again that day [October 9].

“By the time he balanced up Black Caviar was well out of reach but he was very good the last furlong and has come through that super.

“I think his most impressive win was as a two-year-old here down the straight and with that in mind we’ve based his spring around the Coolmore.”

Star Witness is likely to be one of the favourites for the $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes and O’Brien’s stable rider James Winks will take the reins.

Story by Clinton Payne, to view full Racenet story click here

Photo by Slickpix, to view Slickpix website click here

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