Japanese import Tosen Stardom has been confirmed as a Blamey Stakes runner at Flemington in preference to the George Ryder Stakes at a wet Rosehill in Sydney.
The decision to keep the Darren Weir-trained Tosen Stardom in Melbourne on Saturday provides added intrigue to the small Group Two Blamey Stakes (1600m) field.
Four of the seven acceptors are from the Weir stable including Group One winners Black Heart Bart and Palentino.
Tosen Stardom races in the colours of Australian Bloodstock and returned from a spell in the Group One Futurity Stakes (1400m) and went within a nose of beating Black Heart Bart.
Jamie Lovett from Australian Bloodstock posted on Twitter on Thursday the dual acceptor would stay in Melbourne to run in the Blamey with apprentice Ben Allen aboard.
Black Heart Bart is at $2.10 ahead of Tosen Stardom at $3 and Palentino at $5.50 while last year’s winner He Or She is at $15.
Palentino’s two Group Ones wins – the Australian Guineas and Makybe Diva Stakes – have been over 1600m at Flemington and his jockey Mark Zahra is hoping a return to that track and distance can help the horse bounce back to his best after what he felt was a disappointing Futurity Stakes run.
Palentino was equal fourth in the C F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield second-up before finishing sixth in the Futurity Stakes over the same course and distance.
Zahra said Flemington and 1600m were Palentino’s two ticks but admitted Black Heart Bart and Tosen Stardom could be negatives.
“Their runs were better than his last start,” Zahra said.
“But he is back to his track and distance so hopefully he can get back to his best.
“I thought he was disappointing in his last run. It is not his track but I thought his run two starts ago was better than last time.
“I just thought he could have hit the line a bit better last start.”
“He definitely goes better at Flemington, so I’m just hoping back there he can get back to his best form.”
Palentino has three wins and a second from six Flemington starts, with his two failures coming at the end of last spring in the Cantala Stakes and Emirates Stakes.No tags for this post.