Having been forced away from racing for more than 18 months since sustaining a leg injury during the running of the 2013 edition of the Group 1 The BMW (2400m), trainer Anthony Cummings is thrilled by the impending return of standout performer Fiveandahalfstar during the 2015 Autumn Racing Carnival and outlined the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) as an obvious target.
Claiming four wins and a further seven minor places from his 20 competitive race starts so far, Fiveandahalfstar was a standout over his three-year-old season, peaking with an exceptional victory in the featured Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) in late 2012.
Having incredibly won the BMW in what also figured as his most recent appearance on course, Cummings told Racing Ahead he has been thrilled with the form displayed by the now five-year-old since his return to work and is brimming with confidence ahead of his 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes campaign.
“It’s nice to have Fiveandahalfstar back and watching him go through the early stages of his next prep,” Cummings said.
“He’s started some faster work. He’s been very impressive in what he is doing; he’s not doing much but the nature of the way he goes about it is quite different.
“As has been well recorded, he hurt his leg in the BMW run and its taken a while for that to heal properly and get back but at this stage it’s probably the best its been since the day before that so we’re quite hopeful of him getting back.
“The aims kind of speak for themselves in the Doncaster and the Queen Elizabeth, but we won’t be going to the BMW – certainly that’s not the intention at this point.”
Having placed second in each of the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m), Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) leading into the 2013 BMW, Fiveandahalfstar is surprisingly yet to feature in betting markets for the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au currently rates Japanese star To The World as outright $5 favourite for the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while Cox Plate champion Adelaide figures as sole occupant of the second line at a quote of $6.50 for success.
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