By Brad Gray
Severe heat stress was to blame for the defeat of Star Crossed first-up and after a freshen, the gelding is ready take on a quality field of young sprinters at Randwick.
“He’s pretty well at the moment but it took him a while to get over that run at Warwick Farm. He suffered badly from the heat that day,” said Newcastle-based trainer Phillip Atkins.
“He couldn’t get to the hosing shed. We had to bring water to him.”
“It’ll suit us the 1000m at Randwick. He has always shown us a bit right from the start. All his runs have been good although he was a pretty sick horse after Warwick Farm so it’s a bit hard to get a guide on him after that run.”
Star Crossed first-up at Warwick Farm
The three-year-old will carry 53kg, getting 6kg off Stakes-winner Guard Of Honour, and tactics will play a big role in deciding the winner.
“There’s a bit of speed in the race but I’d probably think we’d sit off a couple but we won’t be far away.”
As for the autumn, Atkins has a light preparation mapped out for the lightly-raced son of Starcraft.
“We’ll be guided on what he does tomorrow. I’ve got no doubt he’ll be a better horse in the spring as a four-year-old so he won’t be having too many more runs just at the moment.”
Atkins name was in lights when his sprinter In Cahoots raced in elite company in 2014. That included beating Chautauqua in the Hawkesbury Guineas before mixing it with the likes of Terravistsa, Deep Field and Target in Sight. However, Atkins confirmed that the six-year-old’s racing days are over after he suffered another setback and now calls a paddock in Maitland home.
“He came back in and trialled a couple of months ago, and trialled really well, but he went amiss again so has been retired.”
“I thought he was back as good as ever. He was okay after the trial for a few days. He had a slight let up because I had nowhere to go at the time and he came back in but didn’t make it.”