Starspangled Sprinter Wins G2 Gilgai Stakes
The $300,000 Group II VRC Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday produced a brilliant victory for explosive sprinter Star Patrol (5g Starspangledbanner x It's One, by O;Reilly), who is just starting to hit his best form age five.
The Clinton McDonald trained gelding won well at his first run back from a spell last month, but was even better this time around. Ridden off the pace by Ben Melham, he was full of running to the line and won by a length taking his overall record to six wins and five placings from 16 starts with prizemoney topping $713,000.
“He used himself well today. He went through his gears. Triple Missile who travelled up was probably traveling better but when Ben got busy on him he really found the line strong,” said Clinton McDonald.
" My daughter looks after him and does a great job. His track rider, Fish, I've got to thank because he's not an easy horse to ride and he actually drives Fish mad every morning.
"He came through the Bobbie Lewis run really well but we didn't fall into that trap. We probably had one gallop since then and he galloped really well on Tuesday and we came here with our tail up thinking he could win again."
After posting two Group II wins down the straight this preparation the $3million Group I VRC Champions Sprint at Flemington next month looms large on the horizon.
“Well you'd think you'd have to have a go,” said McDonald.
“He was so dominant down the straight but there's probably better horses (in it) but his asset is that he loves the straight and he can run time down here."
A $78,000 Inglis Classic purchase from the Lustre Lodge draft for his owner P Ma, Star Patrol is the first winner from It’s One, a handy Melbourne metro winning daughter of champion sire O’Reillly from the family of speed machines like Hips Don’t Lie, Splintex and exciting young sire Acrobat.
Star Patrol looks to be a future Group I winner for Starspangledbanner, who is back in Australia this spring at a fee of $33,000.