Worldly Witness

Last year's Blue Diamond winner Star Witness will have a three-race autumn campaign ending with the Australian Guineas at Flemington before taking on the world's best sprinters at Royal Ascot.

Trainer Danny O'Brien said the three-year-old had thrived in a break at his Barwon Heads property and would be sharpened with a Flemington jumpout on Friday for a return to racing.

"He's still a maturing colt and enjoyed the break. He looks fantastic," O'Brien said.

O'Brien said Star Witness would run in a 1200m Listed race for three-year-olds at Caulfield on February 5. "Then he goes to the C.S. Hayes (1400m, Flemington, February 19) and on to the Guineas (March 5)."

TAB Sportsbet has Star Witness $11 equal second favourite with Masquerader for the 1600m Guineas, for which Peter Moody's Caulfield Guineas winner Anacheeva is $8 favourite.

Star Witness, who won the Coolmore Stud Stakes and ran second to Black Caviar in the Patinack Farm at his only two spring runs, is yet to race beyond 1200m.

"We've always seen him as a sprinter-miler and this is the ideal opportunity to stretch him out a bit because the Australian Guineas would be a great race to have on a colt's resume," O'Brien said.

"Starcraft (his sire) was a miler himself and able to go to 2400m to win an AJC Derby."

Star Witness will then be freshened and prepared for the trip to England in early May.

Star Witness's Royal Ascot options are the King's Stand Stakes (1000m) on June 14 and/or the Golden Jubilee (1200m) on June 18.

O'Brien said another suitable target was the July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket on July 9.

"It's a logical target for him because he's so good racing down the straight," he said.

Story by Adam Hamilton, to view full Herald Sun story click here

Photo by Slickpix, to visit Slickpix website click here

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