Tough call for Derby bound Stars Of Carrum

By: Craig Brennan Thursday 21 March 2019

Trainer Robbie Laing is in a quandary over where to go next with Australian Derby aspirant Stars Of Carrum.

The three-year-old is one of 12 runners listed to run in Saturday's Mornington Cup, but Laing says there is also the option to hold off a week and run in the Tulloch Stakes at Rosehill.

Both races will serve the purpose of adding to Stars Of Carrum's fitness ahead of his Australian Derby appointment at Randwick on April 6.

Laing is aware Tulloch Stakes winners Jon Snow (2017) and Levendi (2018) have gone on to win the Australian Derby.

Starcraft also won the double in 2004 and Stars Of Carrum has proven successful when backed up previously.

Stars Of Carrum defeated Savoire in The Vase at The Valley a week before running second to Extra Brut in the Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington in November.

Laing wants Stars Of Carrum at his peak for the Australian Derby but in the back of his mind is the potential for a wet track at Rosehill on Saturday week.

"It's either the Mornington Cup or the Tulloch Stakes," Laing said.

"I don't know his ability on heavy ground but I'm sure he handles 2400 metres and I'm sure he handles firm ground.

"The Mornington Cup, it's only 20 minutes from home and there looks only two to beat, Trap For Fools and Hang Man.

"The Tulloch Stakes is a week before the Derby and the last two winners have gone on to win the Derby, so that's something in the back of my mind."

Trap For Fools heads Mornington Cup betting at $2.40 ahead of Hang Man ($4.80) with Stars Of Carram firming from $11 to $6.

Laing said Stars Of Carrum was progressing nicely and should have finished closer than his 2-1/4 length fourth behind Global Exchange in the Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley last Friday night.

"His run the other day was excellent," Laing said.

"He got held in a pocket out the back and then his late sections were outstanding.

"He's come out of the race great and had a trot and a canter around on Saturday morning.

"He's tough."

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