Staying test awaits emerging Kiwi mare

Trainer Danny O'Brien is looking to test emerging Kiwi mare Thorn Star out in trip following her comfortable victory at Sandown yesterday.

The Sandown 1600m win made it Thorn Star's third over that distance this campaign and her Flemington trainer is keen to see how far in distance she can progress.

"She has been very strong over a mile in her recent starts and now that she has a good grounding we will take her to Moonee Valley on Saturday week and see how she handles the step up to 2040m," O'Brien said, following the victory.

An excellent ride by Craig Williams, who controlled the race by settling her outside the leader, saw the race favourite get home without the jockey having to use of the whip.

"She was very good today and they way she raced, and how strong she was to the line, has me confident that she will get a trip without any issues," Williams said post race.

The Thorn Park-mare arrived with O'Brien in mid-2012 with the aim of seeing if she could make it in Australia for her New Zealand owners which includes Mapperley Stud's Simms Davison.

"She was thwarted by wet tracks in first campaign with us, but now she has had continuity in her racing she is showing that she is tough quality mare who we hope to graduate to stakes grade in the future and over 2000m might be her best chance at achieving black type," O'Brien said.

"We tried her in Group company at Flemington on Newmarket Day and although she finished 9th, she wasn't disgraced as she never had much luck in running.

"She was beaten by just four lengths in that race and she never got a crack at them, whereas yesterday Craig always had her in a winning position and the horse duly saluted."

Yesterday's win was her fifth career victory from 21 starts and that prizemoney cheque took career earnings past $100,000.

Photo by Slickpix, to view Slickpix's website click here

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