5th December 2018
Price Bloodstock’s promising three-year-old Country Star has all but taken himself across his trainer John Size’s red line after taking his record to three from five at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The son of Starcraft had been narrowly beaten at odds-on at his prior run but made no mistakes under Hugh Bowman to make amends this time for his third win over the Valley 1,200m.
He is now at a crucial point of his career as Size has made it known many times in the past that he isn’t keen to overtax young horses once they have graduated into Class 2 and this win will put the youngster on the cusp of that grade.
“He didn’t put up much of a margin tonight off a 74 rating so I’m optimistic that the handicapper won’t be too tough on him nd he’ll still be in Class 3 after this win,” said Size. “But when he does get his rating past 80, I will be more circumspect, as you know. Class 2 is a completely different ball game to Classes 3 and 4 – in Class 2, everything can gallop, there are no soft races and obviously for a horse of his age, he’s going to always be racing older, tougher horses. But, at the same time, I always want to see how the horse is in himself and to let him tell me whether he can push on further or whether it’s time to give him a rest up and let his body catch up to his rating.”
Once again, a feature of the win was Country Star’s tactical capability, with a sharp beginning overcoming what could have been a tricky draw and putting him outside the leader and travelling kindly.
“He conceded a lot of weight to the runner-up, who is older and racing well, but he outpointed him and you couldn’t fault anything Country Star has done so far,” Size said.
The victory took the gelding past $2.4 million in prizemoney with his best yet to come.