Jimmysstar impresses at Cranbourne

Jimmysstar on his way to his fourth career victory. Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

New Zealand import Jimmysstar kept his unblemished Australian record intact with a super-impressive win in Saturday’s Shooting Stars (1500m) at Cranbourne.

It was the third victory in a perfect spring for the Per Incanto gelding, and his fourth win overall from five career starts. He kicked off with two wins and a placing from three runs for Hastings trainer Guy Lowry, culminating with a dominant performance on the opening day of the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival in September.

A majority share in Jimmysstar was then sold into Australian ownership, headed by Ozzie Kheir and John O’Neill, and the four-year-old was transferred into the stable of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace. He was a winner on Australian debut at Bendigo on November 1, and he stepped into metropolitan class on Saturday with an even better performance.

Drawn gate eight in a nine-horse field, Jimmysstar broke sharply from the gates and settled just behind the leaders, three wide but with cover. Rider Craig Williams hooked him out wider into clear air coming up to the home turn, and Jimmysstar swooped around to stake his claim.

After taking a few strides to balance up and build momentum at the top of the home straight, Jimmysstar warmed into his work and strode clear, opening up a winning margin of two and a quarter lengths over The Oaks Stud homebred He’s Beset.

“He’s got good ability, but is still very, very raw,” Williams said. “The team picked out a great race for him today, and it’s a good initiative by Racing Victoria to put on this race for the potential future stars.

“He was a bit keen today in quite a slow-run race. He got a bit wobbly under pressure coming around the turn, but in the end he was very dominant. He’s a horse with a lot of upside and is definitely one to stick with.”

Jimmysstar has now earned almost A$170,000 in stakes for his syndicate of owners, which includes his co-breeders and former owners, Little Avondale Stud’s Sam and Catriona Williams.

“He did it tough,” Maher and Eustace’s assistant trainer Jack Turnbull said. “We didn’t give Craig any plan today. We were drawn wide, although we came in a little bit with scratchings. He got caught wide and ended up in the three-wide line with cover.

“Credit to the horse. He was very well bought by Ozzie and the team. They buy very well and we race a lot of horses in those silks.

“This horse came over from New Zealand in fantastic order. Our team have managed him nicely and he’s obviously going the right way.

“He came over about 10 weeks ago now, and we gave him one jumpout. He was just a bit raw mentally when he arrived, but he’s settled in really well. He’s pretty straightforward, and the more graft we’ve given him, the more he’s come around.

“He’s well bred and looks pretty handy, and I’m sure he’ll make Australia home. What we do with him next, I’m not too sure. There are some options coming up that we can look at, including one at Caulfield in three weeks. But with his progression, we’ve obviously got to think about the autumn too.”

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