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Star Witness Final Start In UK Gr1 Before Stud

Wednesday, 6th July 2011

Australia’s dual Gr1-winning 3YO colt Star Witness (Starcraft-Leone Chiara, by Lion Hunter) “warmed up” for this weekend’s £400,000 (A$600,000) UK Gr1 July Cup (6 furlongs) at Newmarket in England “by breezing over Saturday's course under big-race rider Steven Arnold” yesterday morning, reported racingpost.com. Star Witness (who is equal 3rd-favourite at 6-1) “will be bidding to build on decent efforts at Royal Ascot, where he finished 2nd in the Gr1 King's Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) & 3rd in the Gr1 Golden Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs)”. Yesterday he “familiarised himself with Newmarket's July course when going 5.5 furlongs” & Australian trainer Danny O’Brien commented: “It's a different course to ours (in Australia) with the dips & rises - ours are mostly flat. He seems to be as good as he was in the Jubilee, before which the King's Stand was a prep race. In 3 weeks since, he hasn't gone backwards & this will be his last run before quarantine & going to stud” (at Widden in the NSW Hunter Valley upon his return to Australia). O’Brien added: “The drying ground will suit. He seemed out on his feet in the last 100 yards when the ground was soft (in the Golden Jubilee). It's a tough 6 furlongs & we may hold him up.” Australian jockey Arnold added: “The ground was a bit testing when he run in the Jubilee, the time suggests that the ground made it a test & he is probably best on top of the ground. I think there is a little bit of rain on the way, but hopefully not too much, so we get genuine good ground. And if we get that, I think he will be competitive. He was just behind the speed the other day & that is probably what we will look to do again.”

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